Something unusual has happened in the electronics manufacturing industry. Earlier on this week, Intel announced that they have achieved the goal of being “Conflict Minerals” free – as in not using any minerals that are of unknown origin, or have been extracted from areas with questionable human rights, safety, and environmental reputations.

Instead of focusing entirely on their third party suppliers, Intel decided to target supply side chokepoints, in this case smelters. The question posed in the next is twofold: How should regulators address organizations which comply with the practical aspects of a regulation without following the expected compliance norm (as well as the filling out of all the mandatory paperwork)? How would SEMS-like systems address this outside the box practical approaches?

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