H.C. Starck: EICC certification confirms use of conflict-free raw materials

H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of refractory metals and advanced ceramics, uses only tantalum raw materials from ethical, non-conflict sources. This has been established by the affirmat…

H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of refractory metals and advanced ceramics, uses only tantalum raw materials from ethical, non-conflict sources. This has been established by the affirmative certification H.C. Starck received from the independent Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). We expect our suppliers to meet highest ethical standards. The EICC certification is confirmation of our intensive work in recent years to ensure the supply of conflict-free raw materials, says Dr. Andreas Meier, president & CEO of H.C. Starck. Our company has established stringent worldwide guidelines for purchasing raw materials, and we have integrated comprehensive sustainability criteria into our procurement process. The effectiveness of all these measures has now been verified by the successful EICC certification. H.C. Starck introduced its own Responsible Supply Chain Management System (RSCM) in the beginning of 2010 for the procurement of raw materials. This system ensures efficient and competitive purchasing as well as helps to avoid sourcing from conflict regions or from suppliers that do not act in line with environmental and social sustainability. The system fulfils all requirements of a management system standard required by ISO. The successful implementation of the system within H.C. Starck has been confirmed by the external auditor Bureau Veritas. With the RSCM system, we have already implemented an effective tool for the raw material procurement process. But EICC certification is still the most important proof to our customers that our raw materials are conflict-free, explains Dr. John van Put, senior vice president of the Tantalum, Niobium, Surface Technologies & Ceramic Powders Business Unit. That is why the EICC certification has strengthened our position as reliable supplier of raw materials from ethical, non-conflict sources. To successfully receive EICC certification, a company must have an effective system for continuously tracing back the origin of the raw materials it uses to guarantee that it is coming from non-conflict sources. The term conflict materials applies to metals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold mined in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighbouring nations. Tantalum is a sought-after raw material in the electronics industry and allows extremely small capacitors to be manufactured for devices such as laptops, cameras, or medical equipment. H.C. Starck is a leading manufacturer of high-capacity tantalum powders, which can be used to build particularly small, high-performance capacitors.