We’ve scaled Fairtrade gold – Fairphone

We have now paved the way in which to supply extra Fairtrade gold! Along with Fairtrade, we have now partnered with Hirose Electrical Co., Ltd. in Japan with a purpose to combine extra Fairtrade gold into our provide chain. Our relationship with Hirose and Fairtrade continues our help of ASM gold initiatives and miners. That is an unimaginable stepping stone for the bigger imaginative and prescient of a Fairtrade and Fairphone partnership to scale accountable gold within the electronics sector.

Going for (fairtrade) gold

Whereas there are over 40 totally different supplies in a smartphone, gold is certainly one of Fairphone’s 14 focus supplies introduced earlier this yr and has been a goal materials for us since day one. It’s a materials usually mined artisanally.

Since 2016, we have now been capable of combine Fairtrade gold into the provision chain, but, this accounted for only a small proportion of all of the gold utilized in our gadgets, as gold is utilized in very small portions, unfold throughout many alternative elements of the cellphone. Although a very good begin, we at all times intention to do higher and discover methods to encourage the trade to undertake related practices. This implies we wanted to construct a provide chain mannequin that would simply be replicated and scaled within the electronics sector. So in nice Fairphone style, we put our heads along with our companions – Fairtrade and different suppliers – to provide you with the very best resolution to extend pretty sourced gold in our provide chain. We’re nonetheless exploring how this may be additional replicated within the common electronics provide chain.

The mannequin

With the Fairphone 3, we, together with the Fairtrade Basis, have begun to discover a mass-balance sourcing mannequin to start to scale Fairtrade gold within the electronics sector. Underneath this mannequin, gold mined in a extra accountable style from the Fairtrade licensed mine stays separated from different non-certified gold till leaving the refinery. Nevertheless, after this level it will get shipped to the Shanghai Gold change and may enter many alternative provide chains, which implies it’s not traceable. To make sure that we’re capable of calculate the quantity of gold we’re utilizing in our telephones, and to make sure that we pay an equal quantity of Fairtrade Premium, Fairphone has its personal inside sturdy due diligence and tracing system.

We’re persevering with to work with Fairtrade to discover how we are able to convey extra of our provide chain into the Fairtrade system, in order that we, and also you our prospects will be assured that our supplies are sourced sustainably, and that the gold miners we supply from receiving a good worth and a Fairtrade Premium for his or her gold. Whereas the electronics provide chain is relatively advanced, our ongoing innovation on this area will allow us to develop smoother, extra logistical and cheaper provide chains. With out this mannequin, neither Fairphone or our prospects are capable of be within the Fairtrade system or create the specified impression on the degree of mines.

Fairtrade gold on the go

With the event of Fairphone 4, we began our inventive pondering journey by inspecting what can be the important thing subsequent step to scale up Fairtrade gold within the electronics sector, figuring out provide chains are intertwined. We got here to the conclusion that by onboarding a elements producer with international market attain and the potential to provide most electronics manufacturers, we are able to prepared the ground for exponential development of Fairtrade gold. Win, win!

To this point, we have now eight China-based suppliers dedicated to Fairtrade and we have now simply onboarded a ninth – our first Japan-based provider, Hirose Electrical Co., Ltd. Hirose is that top-tier participant within the electronics trade that we had been trying to find. What does this imply precisely? It signifies that by collaborating with Hirose, we had been capable of improve the volumes of Fairtrade gold that we supply by way of inclusion of our newest mannequin’s connector provide chain.

That is one other step within the evolution of the Fairtrade gold used within the electronics mannequin from Fairphone 2 (2016), to Fairphone 3 (2019) now to Fairphone 4 – we tailor-made the scalable (gold) integration mannequin in order that it’s appropriate for worldwide part producers, on this case Japan.


Notice: Fairphone calculates the quantity of gold used and pays an quantity equal to the Fairtrade Premium to the refiner who sources this quantity of gold from the Fairtrade mines.

Much like the Fairphone 3 mannequin, the Fairtrade licensed gold stays separate till the refiner degree. As soon as on the Shanghai Gold Alternate (SGE) it’s then combined with non-Fairtrade gold. Our part provider in Japan (Hirose) then purchases sufficient gold from SGE to cowl the quantity of Fairtrade gold claimed by Fairphone. With this mannequin, Fairphone contributes to the equal premium of the Fairtrade gold claimed for its provide chain and manufacturing quantity.


Since Fairtrade gold is mass-balanced with non-Fairtrade gold within the SGE, that signifies that the licensed gold isn’t assured to be within the product. Nevertheless, our Japan pilot mannequin builds on the mass-balance mannequin and tracks the gold used alongside the worth chain between factories owned by the identical provider. We’re persevering with to work with Fairtrade to discover how we are able to convey extra of our provide chain into the Fairtrade system.

Preserve striving

The Fairtrade Basis and Fairphone are working collectively to grasp how we are able to combine accountable gold all through the provision chain as part of the European Partnership of Accountable Minerals (EPRM) Accountable Peruvian Gold venture. The venture helps ASM miners in South Peru and goals to formalize their actions and additional undertake accountable practices – enabling them to function extra safely, safeguard the atmosphere and enhance their productiveness.

By piloting this mannequin with Hirose, we intention to convey learnings to this program and help the promotion of accountable mining practices and the sustainable improvement of our provide chains.

Growing the demand for and the provision of accountable gold has a constructive impression on the ASM communities mining the gold. And, as well as, we hold our promise of continuous to attempt for a fairer electronics trade and a extra sustainable cellphone.

Get in contact with Fairphone or Fairtrade to be taught extra concerning the present mannequin and tips on how to change into an early adopter of the up to date gold guideline, which Fairtrade and Fairphone are presently engaged on.


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