Share / Print
Research Center Events

In Pursuit of Conflict Free: A Conversation on Corporate Responsibility

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel Corporation, joined Professor Michael Posner, Co-Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights, for a discussion on corporate responsibility and human rights.

Brian Krzanich | Intel | Conflict Free

I believe that, in the long-run, if you build a company to do the right thing, you’ll get a return on investment. - Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel Corporation

“You can’t solve a problem by abandoning it,” Carolyn Duran, Intel engineer, says in a video introduction to the company’s “Pursuit of Conflict Free” initiative. The initiative challenges Intel employees to eliminate conflict minerals – gold, tungsten, tin and tantalum sourced from militia-controlled mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – from their supply chains. Intel has established a transparent system of traceability and a third-party audit process to ensure safer practices for workers.

On September 19 Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel Corporation, joined Professor Michael Posner, Co-Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights, for a discussion on Intel’s conflict-free initiative in the DRC. He described the internal process within the company that led to a decision to address the issue of conflict minerals, noting that he told his colleagues, “We are engineers; we can do this."

“The only way these problems are going to get solved is if [corporations, activist groups and consumers] work together,” explained Krzanich, speaking to a packed audience of NYU students, faculty and guests. Professor Posner interviewed Krzanich about his team’s learning and evaluation processes for the “Pursuit of Conflict Free” as well as the importance of adopting and implementing human rights standards in today’s business operations.

Following their conversation, Krzanich addressed questions from the audience, with topics ranging from Intel’s global supply chain, the relationship between Dodd-Frank and corporate responsibility and the power of the individual, social media and campus activism to effect change. Krzanich’s talk focused primarily on Intel’s conflict-free initiative which placed the company at the top of the Enough Project’s survey of global brands that operate in the DRC. Drawing lessons from this effort, Krzanich also emphasized that there are other ways in which business leaders across different industries and countries have the power to have an impact on broader social issues.

He concluded, “I believe that, in the long-run, if you build a company to do the right thing, you’ll get a return on investment.”

Watch the video:



Learn more about the Center for Business and Human Rights