If you’re a frequent Direct2Dell reader, you’ve likely heard about Dell’s 2020 Legacy of Good Plan and our mission to use our technology and expertise to improve our communities and planet. You’ve maybe even read about our recycled carbon fiber initiative or our new program to intercept ocean-bound plastics for use in our packaging.The backbone of so many of these innovations powering a circular economy is a sustainable supply chain.As the United Nations reminds us, supply chains have enormous potential to advance economic development around the world. And Dell believes a sustainable, ethical supply chain can also uncover tremendous innovation and efficiencies that transform business for the better.Since 2009, Dell has been actively working to address a key industry issue affecting the electronics sector: responsible mineral sourcing. We were a leading voice in the industry wide collaborations that led to the formation of the Conflict Free Smelter Initiative (CFSI) in 2011, which established a global framework for sourcing tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (often referred to as 3TG or “conflict minerals”).Aligned with CFSI, we implemented a management system for conflict minerals based on the OECD’s five-step framework for due diligence in the mineral supply chain. We mapped our supply chain for 3TG and published our conflict minerals policy and smelter list on our website. We also incorporated conflict minerals reporting into our contracts with suppliers, setting up a robust process to identify risks and remove smelters from our supply chain.But even with the progress the industry has made around 3TGs from conflict-afflicted areas, there are still broader social and environmental challenges related to the sourcing of other minerals. Similar to CFSI, a global framework is needed for sourcing these minerals – and work is underway. In 2016 Dell joined the Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI), which seeks to build the infrastructure necessary to accurately identify smelters and mining companies that do not conduct proper due diligence to safeguard human rights where they operate.One of the minerals that is a key priority for the RRMI is cobalt, which is commonly mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and used in the production of lithium-ion batteries. As much as 20 percent of the cobalt sourced from the DRC may be mined by companies that do not have responsible sourcing programs that meet our standards, and the DRC produces roughly 50 percent of the world’s cobalt. As an active member in the RRMI’s Cobalt Working Group, we are working to map the cobalt supply chain and improve traceability.In a parallel effort, Dell joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI). Through RCI, we aim to improve visibility into the cobalt supply chain and monitor where cobalt is coming from, the conditions under which it’s being mined, and engage with the DRC government and local NGOs to address risks and challenges on the ground. We are actively engaged across industries and sectors to protect human rights and address behaviors at all levels of the cobalt supply chainDell’s goal is to continue developing our due diligence systems for the sourcing of other minerals, like we have done for 3TG. While the work to build traceability infrastructure for cobalt is underway, Dell has taken steps to broaden our responsible raw material management system to include cobalt. In January 2016, we surveyed our battery suppliers and other key suppliers to understand their cobalt supply chain, current traceability, and sourcing policies. This year, we expanded the survey and began to collaborate with the RRMI to develop an industry-standard cobalt sourcing reporting template. We also launched a continuous improvement pilot project with battery suppliers to build their capabilities to follow the OECD’s responsible sourcing due diligence and help create awareness on cobalt sourcing in their supply chains.Addressing these challenges is a very complex endeavor that requires cross-industry collaboration. We do not yet have all the answers, but we are committed to transparency and open dialogue as we seek solutions. It’s through candid discussion that we’ll find shared interests that will make a positive difference in business and communities around the globe.
Notre Dame College Republicans (NDCR) has invited former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for its annual Lincoln Day Dinner and Speech on April 15.“The Lincoln Day Dinner is an annual event that most Republican organizations hold,” NDCR president, senior Mark Gianfalla, said. “For us, we’ve had one as long as I’ve been here. … I think continually for the last 10 years our club has done it.“In the last few years we’ve really picked up the fundraising aspect of it and basically increased our budget for the event 500 times what it was two years ago.”Last year, the club invited Fox News contributor and conservative political pundit Ann Coulter to speak at the Lincoln Day events, drawing harsh criticism from several student groups and inspiring a series of protests on campus.The Lincoln Day celebrations include a speech, which is free but ticketed and open to the public, that will be held April 15 at 6 p.m. in Washington Hall, and the dinner that follows is for members of the club and community members.Gianfalla said he anticipates 250 attendees at the dinner, a dramatic increase from last year’s 85 attendees and 30 the year before.“Anybody who has an affiliation with the club is invited — dues-paying members obviously have first access, and then faculty and staff who want to attend,” Gianfalla said.“We have some alumni … but also a large portion of the local community that is supportive, both financially and through campaign efforts and club events — we invite those people as well. This year, a large portion of the attendees will be community members,” he said.To fund what Gianfalla described as a “$25,000 event,” the club has turned local party affiliates and national organizations for assistance. In particular, NDCR formed a partnership with the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a group that describes itself as “the principal outreach organization for the conservative movement.”“We started a partnership with the Young America’s Foundation, which is a group that supports collegiate efforts to bring in conservative speakers,” Gianfalla said. “[YAF] negotiate the contracts with the speaker. They have existing relationships, and they contribute financially to bring in that speaker.“… They contribute thousands of dollars to our speaker fees every year; this year they’re contributing a large portion — at least half — and the rest of that is coming from the local Republican Party … and individuals in the community such as local party members and people who have supported us in the past who live locally. We also get some money from the University as a club, and a small portion of that comes from dues as well,” Gianfalla said.In choosing the Lincoln Day speaker, Gianfalla said budget limitations played a role in the decision but that the speaker’s “notoriety” and ability to draw a crowd was also a factor.“We want someone with good name recognition, who can fill a 650-person auditorium,” he said. “We also want [someone] who can add quality discussion, quality commentary during the speech.”NDCR secretary, sophomore Dylan Stevenson, added that Gingrich proved a good choice for the dinner because of his unique perspective and experiences in government.“To mention that Gingrich was Speaker of the House [of Representatives], House Minority Whip and that he was Time’s ‘Man of the Year’ in 1994 would be to mention just a few of his many achievements,” Stevenson said in an email. “He served over 20 years as a Representative in the House and had the ear of Presidents Reagan and Clinton.“One of the main reasons we invited him was to hear him reflect on these experiences and really give the club a good idea as to what it’s like to have access to the corridors of power. As a former Presidential candidate, he can provide a really unique perspective about that process as the two parties gear up for primaries.“I think one of the big things that he’ll do to help dialogue is draw attention to the Party and its principles. I think that, by highlighting how Conservative principles would help this country, he’ll get the proverbial ball rolling, and I think we’ll see intelligent discussion about these principles filtering through the student body. Moreover, given that we’re already seeing potential 2016 candidates make themselves known, I think he’ll add fuel to the fire of presidential intrigue that is starting to grow here,” Stevenson said.According to Gianfalla, Gingrich will speak on “domestic and foreign policy” in his speech, in line with the events that NDCR has participated in and hosted so far this year.“This year, we wanted to choose someone who would follow the theme of our programming,” Gianfalla said. “We had a big Rick Santorum speech at the beginning of the year, and we’ve had a lot of political discussion at our meetings and as well as a lot of debate.“We really wanted to engage the knowledge base of the student body … to broaden that base on issues. I think [Newt Gingrich] will foster that aspect of our programming this year very well.”Tags: lincoln day, lincoln day dinner, Mark Gianfalla, newt gingrich, Notre Dame College Republicans