This week, we’re asking you to participate in our Change the Equation for Congo campaign which aims to build pressure on the electronics industry to support conflict minerals legislation and sign on to a letter clearly stating their position (which you can read here). Having targeted Nintendo on Monday, we set our sights yesterday on Research In Motion – or RIM – the maker of BlackBerry.
As a BlackBerry user myself, I was hopeful that the company would respond to our call and sign on to the letter. But choosing to use the classic PR tactic of only answering the question you wish you’d been asked instead of the one you were given, RIM responded to the campaign yesterday with the press statement below:
Thank you for your comments about the "Change the Equation for Congo" Campaign. RIM has been an early supporter of legislative efforts to end conflict minerals trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). RIM supports the intent of Senator Brownback’s Amendment 3997 to the Senate financial services reform legislation and Representative Jim McDermott’s Conflict Minerals Trade Act (HR 4128) bill as introduced in the House of Representatives. RIM commends the Members of Congress and NGOs who have been working on this issue and looks forward to lending continued support to this important effort.
In addition, RIM continues to actively work on addressing this problem through broader industry efforts. As an active member of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), RIM works to develop greater supply chain transparency among electronics manufacturers. RIM is also part of the GeSI/Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Extractives Work Group and is supporting the development of an independent and verifiable certification system that can document supply chain transactions for minerals used in electronics.
While we greatly appreciate their response to the campaign and willingness to engage with their customers’ requests, we respectfully ask them answer the question that was asked of them: Will you sign on to the letter to demonstrate your support? If not, why? Being a supporter of "efforts" and "intentions" of legislation is not enough, and the situation on the ground in Congo demands from all of us a stronger response.
In addition to the new target company for Day 3 of campaign – Hewlett-Packard (HP) – join me in also following up with RIM by visiting their BlackBerry Facebook page and letting them you know you appreciate their response, but that you demand an answer:
"RIM, moving beyond press releases, will you sign this letter of support for strong conflict minerals legislation. Yes or no? If no, why not? http://bit.ly/aKDSeU"