Where did you get your cell phone?

Where did THEY get your cell phone?

Apple iPhones have more than 1,000 parts.

Apple iPhones are made in Shenzhen, China, by the Taiwanese company Foxconn:

Pro Side

Con Side

Since 1974, Foxconn had always been guided by three Foxconnian visions: -- through the:
  • most efficient "Total Cost Advantages" to make comfort of electronic products usage an attainable reality for all mankind;
  • proprietary one-stop shopping vertical integrated eCMMS model to revolutionize the conventional inefficient electronics outsourcing model; and
  • devotion to greater social harmony and higher ethical standards to achieve a win-win model for all stakeholders including shareholders, employees, community and management.
  • "Under intense scrutiny after several suicides at its factories in southern China this year, Foxconn Technology, a major supplier to Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, has decided to stop operating its own dormitories for workers." New York Times, June 25, 2010.

    "A 28-year-old man is reported to have died of exhaustion after working a 34-hour shift." Nexus, June 2, 2010.

    (Source: Daily Telegraph)

    Steve Jobs Breaks Silence on Foxconn Technology Group's Worker Suicides

    A 16GB iPhone 3GS contains 12 gold-plated parts:

    Producing 1 ounce of gold creates 80 tons of waste.

    The negative news:
  • Between 1995 and 2015, approximately half of the gold produced worldwide has or will come from the traditional territories of indigenous peoples, whose land rights are often not clearly recognized. Even when indigenous groups hold legal title to surface lands, some governments sell off the subsurface rights to mining corporations.

  • In 2001, the world's top 5 gold producers were South Africa, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, and China.

  • Smelting?a process that removes gold's impurities once it's separated from the ore?uses large amounts of energy and releases significant air pollution. The world's smelters add 142 million tons of sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere every year?13 percent of global emissions.

  • Metals mining is the number one toxic polluter in the United States, responsible for 96 percent of arsenic emissions and 76 percent of lead emissions.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey reports that water tables have dropped by as much as 300 meters around some large open-pit gold mines in Nevada. The Betze-Post mine alone pumps out 380,000 cubic meters (100 million gallons) of groundwater per day.

  • Bingham Canyon, the world's largest open pit mine, is visible from outer space. This Utah mine, which produces copper, gold, silver, and molybdenum, measures 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) deep and 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) across.

  • A single gold mine in Papua New Guinea?Ok Tedi?daily generates 200,000 tons of waste per day, more than all of the cities in Japan, Canada, and Australia combined.

  • Between 1990 and 1998, more than 30,000 people were displaced by gold mining operations in the district of Tarkwa in Ghana.

  • 120,000 tons of toxic waste spilled from the Baia Mare gold mine in Romania in 2000, contaminating the drinking water of 2.5 million people and killing 1,200 tons of fish.

  • In 1996, Pik Botha, then South Africa's Minister for Mineral and Energy Affairs, estimated that in his country, each ton of gold mined costs 1 life and 12 serious injuries.

  • (Source: Worldwatch)

    What we can do about it:

  • In December 2003, Peru's mining ministry blocked a Canadian mining company's proposed open-pit gold mine in Tambogrande. This decision was a major victory for the local farming community, which had voted against the mine in June 2002.

  • The International Finance Corporation, the private arm of the World Bank Group, decided in October 2002 not to back the controversial Rosia Montana gold mine project in Romania, which would displace local people and pose a high environmental risk.

  • Costa Rica's president declared a moratorium on all open-pit mines in June 2002, noting that, ?the true fuel and the true gold of the future will be water and oxygen.? Similarly, Cotacachi county in Ecuador has banned all forms of mining in order to protect its cloudforest and people.

  • The Baia Mare toxic spill in Romania in 2000 prompted both the Czech Senate and the German Parliament to ban gold mining using cyanide leaching methods.

  • In 1998, a citizens' initiative in the U.S. state of Montana led to a ban on the use of cyanide leaching for new mines or expansions of existing mines in the state.

  • (Source: Worldwatch)

    The iPhone includes a tantalum capacitor:

    (Source: Congo's Bloody Coltan, Pulitzer Center)

    One manufacturer, Kemet, has been linked to the illegal mineral trade in eastern Congo, but a recent report states "American-based Kemet, the world's largest maker of tantalum capacitors, has asked its suppliers to certify that their coltan ore does not come from Congo or bordering countries. But it may be a case of too little, too late. Much of the coltan illegally stolen from Congo is already in laptops, cell phones and electronics all over the world."

    (Source: United Nations).

    KEMET conducts its business in a manner designed to protect the health and safety of its employees, customers, the public, and the environment. Programs will be implemented and maintained which provide assurance that KEMET:
  • Meets or exceeds all applicable governmental and internal health, safety, and environmental requirements.
  • Designs its facilities and conducts its operations in such a manner as to eliminate recognized risk to human health, safety, and the environment.
  • Establishes and presents responsible positions to governments and the public on health, safety, and environmental matters affecting its options.
  • Utilizes processes, practices, materials, or products that avoid, reduce, or control pollution.
  • Is committed to continuous improvement of health, safety, and environmental performance.

    (Source: KEMET Corporate Policy on Health, Safety and Environmental Protection)

  • Rechargeable batteries require lithium.

    (source: BBC)

    Half of the world's lithium comes from a 3,000 square mile area of pristine Bolivian salt flats.

    ?We know that Bolivia can become the Saudi Arabia of lithium,? said Francisco Quisbert, 64, the leader of Frutcas, a group of salt gatherers and quinoa farmers on the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the world?s largest salt flat. ?We are poor, but we are not stupid peasants. The lithium may be Bolivia?s, but it is also our property.?

    (Source: New York Times, February 2, 2009)

    Tin is used to solder circuit boards:

    Some 27,000 tons are extracted from Congo annually, earning armed groups an estimated $93 million or more.

    Postive Actions: Take Action
  • Commit to purchase Conflict-free cell phones, laptops and other electronics.
  • Urge your Representative
    To Co-sponsor the Congo Conflict Minerals Trade Act of 2009 (H.R. 4128)
  • Urge your Senator
    To co-sponsor the Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 (S. 891)
  • Grow the movement!
    Urge your friends to join you in coming clean for Congo

  • The 3.5-inch LCD screen is reportedly made in Taiwan and China by Wintek:

    "Workers at a Chinese factory that makes parts for mobile phone companies including Nokia and Apple have been in hospital for months after being poisoned by a chemical used in production. The owner of the plant says it stopped using the screen-cleaner n-hexane in August last year after 47 workers were taken ill. But the lingering effects of the chemical have left several requiring continued medical care."

    (Source: The Guardian, 22 February, 2010)

    (Source: Wired,November, 2009)

    The Wintek Group strictly prohibits the use of child labor at each of its production plants. All personnel at the Group shall abide by the social accountability policy and ethical guidelines as long as they are in conformance with local laws and regulations and various communication channels shall be set up for communication and reporting purposes. Discrimination by any personnel based on race, ethnicity, social class, ancestry, religion, physical disability, gender, sexual orientation, family responsibility, marital status, union membership, political affiliation or age is also not allowed.

    (Source: Message from the Chairman.

    Making a 0.07-ounce microchip uses 66 pounds of materials, including water and toxic chemicals such as flame retardants and chlorinated solvents:

  • Greenpeace gives Apple a 4.9 out of 10 for its efforts to eliminate hazardous chemicals and minimize e-waste.

  • High-density tungsten is used to make cell phones vibrate.

    (Source: Huffington Post, August 11, 2009)

  • Three-quarters of the world's supply comes from China, a country that is not known for its mining safety record
  • 1,400 tons are dug up annually in Congo

  • The list price for a 16GB iPhone 3GS is $599. It's yours for $199 thanks to a subsidy from monopoly provider AT&T which makes its money back on your two-year contract.

    What can we as consumers do?