Former Motorolan continues to ensure minerals are mined responsibly

  • Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. His work often takes him to the Congo, where mining for certain minerals can become part of the supply chain for manufacturers

    Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. His work often takes him to the Congo, where mining for certain minerals can become part of the supply chain for manufacturers COURTESY OF MIKE LOCH

  • Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. His work often takes him to the Congo, where mining for certain minerals can become part of the supply chain for manufacturers. Here, he stands in front of the Congo River while doing similar work for Motorola Solutions in 2013.

    Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. His work often takes him to the Congo, where mining for certain minerals can become part of the supply chain for manufacturers. Here, he stands in front of the Congo River while doing similar work for Motorola Solutions in 2013. COURTESY OF MIKE LOCH

  • Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. His work often takes him to the Congo, where mining for certain minerals can become part of the supply chain for manufacturers. Here, he stands by a small plane in Katanga Providence, Congo, in 2013 while doing similar work for Motorola Solutions in November 2013.

    Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. His work often takes him to the Congo, where mining for certain minerals can become part of the supply chain for manufacturers. Here, he stands by a small plane in Katanga Providence, Congo, in 2013 while doing similar work for Motorola Solutions in November 2013. COURTESY OF MIKE LOCH

  • Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. He stands with children in the Congo in while working for Motorola Solutions in 2013. On many of his visit to the Congo, he would bring school supplies and candy to the local children.

    Mike Loch helps business clients deal with legal and responsible mineral mining as part of his new company, Responsible Trade LLC, based in Cary. He stands with children in the Congo in while working for Motorola Solutions in 2013. On many of his visit to the Congo, he would bring school supplies and candy to the local children. COURTESY OF MIKE LOCH

  • David Spaeth

    David Spaeth

  • Manicures and Tiaras of South Barrington recently hosted a ribbon cutting that included, from left, Suzanne Corr, president and CEO of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce; Tom Cramer of Wintrust Mortgage; staff from Manicures and Tiaras; Nathalia Martinez, owner of Manicures and Tiaras; Tony Roman and Robert Palmer of South Barrington; and Monika Kalicki, marketing director of The Arboretum of South Barrington.

    Manicures and Tiaras of South Barrington recently hosted a ribbon cutting that included, from left, Suzanne Corr, president and CEO of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce; Tom Cramer of Wintrust Mortgage; staff from Manicures and Tiaras; Nathalia Martinez, owner of Manicures and Tiaras; Tony Roman and Robert Palmer of South Barrington; and Monika Kalicki, marketing director of The Arboretum of South Barrington. COURTESY OF BARRINGTON AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

  • Kenneth Gotsch

    Kenneth Gotsch

  • Colleen Phillip

    Colleen Phillip

  • Bob Chib

    Bob Chib

  • Cassie Hogenkamp

    Cassie Hogenkamp

 
 
Posted4/10/2016 6:00 AM

Whether Mike Loch went into the Democratic Republic of Congo for the first time, or for many times after that, it always struck him as "eye opening."

"You can look and see the challenges that exist in this country, which still has such great potential," said Loch, 56, a former Motorola employee who started his own business last year called Responsible Trade LLC, in Cary.

 

"But there is so much that is underdeveloped. You can just look at the infrastructure and you will see so many places with no power, and go into the bush and see poverty."

That is why he tracks how certain minerals are mined. He wants to ensure those minerals, including tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, among others, are mined in a safe way for the environment and safe for the workers. The process has to ensure that workers rights are not violated and they are paid a fair wage, all while the minerals are sold at fair prices on the open market.

Loch, who grew up in family with 13 other siblings in Arlington Heights, now lives in Cary with his wife and three children. He worked for 29 years at Motorola Inc. and later Motorola Solutions as director of supply chain sustainability. That's where he started traveling to the Congo and decided the work was

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See Kuso important that he spun off later with his own company.

During his first trip to the Congo in September 2010, he saw that poverty was widespread, electricity was spotty and indoor plumbing was a luxury.

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"You can see hunger and the lack of health services in just one quick glimpse in a small village, where they're carrying jugs of water," he said.

He was last in the Congo in February, and he plans to return again later this year to work on behalf of clients in the aerospace, auto, electronics and medical device industries, among others. Companies in these industries use various minerals as part of their manufacturing process or within the final product, so they often go to the source to get the supply of minerals they need. And that source includes the Congo, he said.

His main mission is to make sure that minerals are mined, harvested and sold responsibly, and they find their way into products that many of us use every day, including phones, computers and other equipment.

During his trips, Loch visits mine sites, trading houses, nongovernment organizations and others to gain a local perspective of the issues and challenges when producing minerals. Sometimes, when he will visit local schools, passing out school supplies and candy to the students just as a gesture of kindness, he said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In addition to his work, he also has served as co-chairman of Alexandria, Virginia-based Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative and helped to develop the Washington, D.C.-based Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Mineral Trade.

He has helped to develop and launch the Solutions for Hope Project in conjunction with a major supplier to source conflict-free tantalum from the Congo. The program has been recognized by governments and international organizations including the U.S. State Department and others, he said.

"Metals are used in to many different industries," Loch said. "You really need to look at the supply chain from extraction to the brand product."

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