Nintendo has scored a rank of "0" from the watchdog group, the Enough Project. Out of the 24 companies on its list, Nintendo was the only one to receive the lowest rank possible. The Enough Project is a watchdog group that follows the money trail of "conflict minerals" from the Democratic Republic of the Congo where warlords are fighting for control of the country.
The term "conflict minerals" means any materials taken from mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and sold to outside sources to fund military groups in the region. Besides the ultra harsh treatment workers receive in these mines, the mines themselves are hotspots for fighting because they are so valuable. Ultimately these materials help to keep the conflict going.
"Nintendo is, I believe, the only company that has basically refused to acknowledge the issue or demonstrate they are making any sort of effort on it," Sasha Lezhnev, senior policy analyst at the Enough Project, told CNN. "And this is despite a good two years of trying to get in contact with them."
Responding to the CNN report, Nintendo tried to put a good face on the bad press.
"[Nintendo] outsources the manufacture and assembly of all Nintendo products to our production partners and therefore is not directly involved in the sourcing of raw materials that are ultimately used in our products," a Nintendo spokesperson told CNN. "We nonetheless take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously and expect our production partners to do the same."
Other companies on the list include Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.