As companies prepare their first required reports disclosing their use of conflict minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold – the Responsible Sourcing Network has partnered with the Enough Project to release a paper setting expectations for the contents of these inaugural filings.
In May of 2014, new legislation will require companies from a wide variety of industries including electronics, automotive, aerospace, and toys, to submit reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing information on the use of minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries. Human rights abuses linked to the mining industry such as sexual violence and kidnapping children to be soldiers have plagued the region for over 14 years.
Expectations for Companies’ Conflict Minerals Reporting describes the content that sustainable and responsible investors and human rights advocates expect to see. “Investors would like to see their companies establish baseline metrics the first year and specify the steps they are taking to determine the origin of all of their minerals to mitigate risk against conflict minerals,” said Patricia Jurewicz, director of Responsible Sourcing Network and co-author of the paper. “Then we can measure improvements in transparency and accountability reporting over time.”
The paper follows other reports from the Responsible Sourcing Network on ethical global supply chains, including To the Spinner, which provides guidance for companies seeking to avoid Uzbek cotton picked using forced labor.