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Massachusetts considers reviewing purchasing policies related to Congo 'conflict minerals'

Massachusetts considers reviewing purchasing policies related to Congo 'conflict minerals' | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The United Nations has declared that companies or individuals who buy minerals from Congo must ensure they are not helping illegal armed groups in order to avoid violating international sanctions. A U.S. law requires that any organization that must file with the Securities Exchange Commission take due diligence to ensure that any minerals purchased from Congo were properly sourced.
EcoVadis's insight:

New bill requiring administration to review procurement policies

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ANALYSIS: DRC uncertainty could fuel tighter cobalt regulations - African Business Magazine

ANALYSIS: DRC uncertainty could fuel tighter cobalt regulations - African Business Magazine | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

The deteriorating political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is likely to fuel stricter regulations on the supply chains of cobalt from the country. The precious mineral is used in the manufacturing of phones, electric cars and laptops. International regulators have recently called for further scrutiny into the supply chain of DRC-sourced cobalt, and this demand is likely to grow louder due to the worsening political situation in the country.

EcoVadis's insight:

While big companies such as Apple are pushing their due diligence across their supply chains, many others still find this as a daunting process. How are you dealing with that in your supply chain?

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Ranking of 200 Brands Finds Check-the-Box Reporting Insufficient to Protect Both Miners and Investors from Conflict Minerals Risk

While leading brands proactively monitor and mitigate risk, laggards provide little evidence of good faith efforts. Berkshire Hathaway faulted suppliers for weak reporting and declined to identify smelters. In contrast, Microsoft exercised leverage with its suppliers to enforce conflict-free policies and apply pressure on smelters to perform due diligence. ExxonMobil prohibited suppliers from sourcing from the DRC region, contributing to a devastating embargo that prevents the development of a legitimate minerals trade and worsens the humanitarian crisis in the DRC. In contrast, Apple helped improve risk monitoring between mines and smelters; Phillips increased its demand for conflict-free tin sourced from within the DRC; and Boeing and GE supported research on child labor in the region. Intel continued its public campaign to support conflict-free mining in the DRC.
EcoVadis's insight:

Are you enforcing conflict-free policies and measures in your supply chain? 

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Important developments in conflict minerals regulation - iTSCi

Important developments in conflict minerals regulation - iTSCi | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

In recent days, activity proposing regulation of conflict minerals trade in both the EU and Canada has been launched. Firstly, the EU has begun a consultation period running up to 26 June 2013 on a possible initiative on responsible sourcing of minerals originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas....

EcoVadis's insight:

An interesting release from iTSCi which sums up important ongoing legislations underway in the U.E. and in Canada...


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European Union Considers Implementing Conflict Minerals Regulation

European Union Considers Implementing Conflict Minerals Regulation | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The European Union (EU) will begin discussions on whether to develop a conflict minerals-type regulation during a December 5, 2012 internal workshop. DG Trade is leading this effort and has request input from industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)....
EcoVadis's insight:

As a ripple effect of the Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 passed in the U.S., possible regulations are likely to have significant impacts for European companies in terms of supply chain disclosure and accountability, due-diligence mechanisms.

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Is your phone conflict free? If it's from Apple or Samsung, no, says Amnesty International

Is your phone conflict free? If it's from Apple or Samsung, no, says Amnesty International | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Conditions in the mines are rarely safe, and Amnesty International reports that most miners work without essential protective gear, such as gloves, work clothes, or face masks to protect their skin and lungs from disease. The organization says at least 80 miners died in the DRC between September 2014 and December 2015, and many more become ill from working in the poor conditions.
To make matters worse, many of the miners Amnesty International interviewed were children who said they worked for 12 hours a day to earn a mere dollar or two. UNICEF says that approximately 40,000 children worked in mines in the DRC in 2014, and that the majority of them were mining cobalt.

EcoVadis's insight:

Millions of people enjoy the benefits of new technologies but rarely ask how they are made. Are you sure that your mobile phone is free from conflict minerals?

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DRC: Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler probed by UK Serious Fraud Office over mining deals

The UK body, which investigates and prosecutes serious and complex fraud, is pursuing its three-year investigation into Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), a Kazakh-based mining company. ENRC withdrew from the London Stock Exchange's FTSE 100 in 2013 amid allegations of corruption.
Alongside four former Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation executives, Gertler is under investigation in relation to the company's acquisition of copper and cobalt mining projects in the DRC, according to reports.

EcoVadis's insight:

Despite Congo calling campaigns for ethical management of ethically-sourced conflict-free minerals in the DRC, a lot of abuses is still prevailing. 

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Tech Giants Look the Other Way on Rights Abuses Stemming From Cobalt Mining in Congo

Tech Giants Look the Other Way on Rights Abuses Stemming From Cobalt Mining in Congo | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is paying the price for being the world’s largest producer of raw cobalt, a vital ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, smartphones, laptops and other rechargeable devices. As Congolese search for the valuable mineral—cobalt is the most expensive part of lithium-ion batteries—they are suffering a surge in child labor, poverty, pollution and rare birth defects.
EcoVadis's insight:

Companies may want to get away from the problem existing in their supply chain but the problem is still there. Do you have your eyes wide open on the subject and are you reacting to that in your business? 

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Many Industry Sectors Unprepared for Conflict Minerals Rule

Many Industry Sectors Unprepared for Conflict Minerals Rule | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

A report from the Responsible Sourcing Network finds that leading companies in the information and communications industry have undertaken initiatives to ensure that their supply chains are free of conflict minerals, but few other industry sectors have done so.

EcoVadis's insight:

This article from Social Funds highlights discrepancies between sectors in implementing due diligence mechanims on conflict minerals. While ICT companies are frontrunners, laggards include companies from the Automotive, Aerospace & Defence & jewelry. RSN January 2013 report can be found here.

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