Seagate – a global company that produces hard disk drives and other electronic data storage solutions – is vigilant in respecting human rights throughout its operations. Tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold are conflict minerals, and all are required for the functionality and production of Seagate’s hardware products. Extensive reserves of these minerals are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries, and some of these minerals are illegally sourced and traded by armed groups responsible for tragic human rights violations.

Under US law, companies must disclose whether conflict minerals used in their products originated in the DRC or an adjoining country. If so, companies must describe what efforts they have undertaken to ensure the sources of the minerals are identified and documented for purposes of reporting to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, Seagate’s customers have their own standards and policies with respect to conflict minerals and human rights.

Seagate is a founding member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and participates in the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). To meet legal and customer requirements, Seagate must manage the latest information from the RBA, RMI and, importantly, data provided by its own suppliers. The list of active and conformant smelters within the responsible minerals assurance process is frequently updated, so keeping Seagate’s supply chain “conflict-free” is a continuous effort.

Our Approach

To manage this challenge, Seagate engaged ERM to help collect and track data from component and material suppliers. ERM works for 75 percent of the Fortune 500 technology companies. By leveraging our internal culture of connectivity and communications, Seagate benefits from:

  • World-class product stewardship expertise;
  • Proven high tech experience and insights; and
  • Global networking with local delivery.

We have the capability to manage data collection for thousands of unique components used in Seagate products and leverage that data to fulfill reporting requests and requirements. ERM’s multi-lingual capabilities support Chinese and English inquiries from suppliers.

ERM collects critical information regarding the country of origin of minerals, smelters and refiners used by the company’s suppliers. Using Seagate’s compliance software, we track the status of smelters and follow up with suppliers on any non-conformant operations. It is an ongoing effort to ensure that the smelters used in the supply chain are conformant on the RMI smelter list.

Benefits and Value

Our work enables Seagate to compile its SEC report and meet customer requirements for transparency on conflict minerals.

Working as a team, ERM supports Seagate in its efforts to manage supplier communication and data in its journey to a conflict-free supply chain.