Sony least transparent about ethical material sourcing, Apple is most, according to report

As part of annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on ethical material sourcing, Apple reported that 100% of its sourced mineral refineries had no evidence of supporting armed conflict in 2018. Sony, on the other hand, did not reveal how many of its suppliers completed surveys of its refineries and could not confirm the status or even location of many of its sourced refineries.

This data comes from GamesIndustry.biz‘s yearly report on gaming hardware manufacturers’ ethical material sourcing practices. The report compiles information from the annual SEC reports of companies involved in creating game-related products. This year, GamesIndustry.biz included Google in the report for the first time, given the upcoming release of the Google Stadia. Valve also had its inaugural inclusion, as a result of the Valve Index VR headset.

According to the report, Apple’s perfect record for 2018 is its fourth in a row, repeating a 100% lack of evidence for conflict minerals in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The report also noted that Apple removed the only five refineries from its supply chain that refused to participate in the report, and the company funds initiatives that contribute to supply chains’ ethical material sourcing practices. GameIndustry.biz found Facebook‘s report to be more vague than Apple’s, but the company reported that only five of its refineries were not conformant with responsible sourcing practices.

Three of Microsoft‘s 174 suppliers did not survey their refineries, which leaves an unknown number of refineries unchecked. Of the 299 known refineries, 41 were non-conformant. As noted above, Sony did not say how many of its suppliers completed surveys of its refineries, but the company did identify that 53 of its 310 reported refineries were non-conformant and were of unknown locations.

GamesIndustry.biz’s report also includes data on Activision Blizzard (which previously manufactured Skylanders toys and still uses two refineries for certain other branded products), Ubisoft (which manufactured Starlink: Battle for Atlas toys but did not report to the SEC) and HTC. GamesIndustry.biz will publish further details on Nintendo’s practices at a later date, as it has in previous years, because Nintendo is not required to report to the SEC and instead publishes its own, separate data.

The full report, compiling SEC reports and other data about each of these companies’ ethical material sourcing practices, is available on GamesIndustry.biz.