Sustainable Procurement News
Latest news, trends, ideas on Sustainable / Responsible Procurement and Green Supply Chain from EcoVadis
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Why Apple and Intel don’t want to see the conflict minerals rule rolled back

Why Apple and Intel don’t want to see the conflict minerals rule rolled back | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Companies say the conflict minerals law has created an expectation both inside their corporate headquarters and among consumers that their products will be “conflict-free.”
They do not want to back away from that now. But they worry their efforts will be undermined without the law to support them.

EcoVadis's insight:

While some companies are willing to take a public stand against cutting the law, others are more hesitant.

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Trump may suspend rules on African ‘conflict minerals,’ say human rights advocates

Trump may suspend rules on African ‘conflict minerals,’ say human rights advocates | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
Mr. Trump is considering an already drafted executive order to suspend the minerals rule for two years, which would loosen the rules on the trade of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold from Congo, according to media reports in the United States.
EcoVadis's insight:

The conflict mineral law is an important way of stopping horrific human rights abuses in Africa - what will the future be if this law is suspended?

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80% of Companies Don’t Know If Their Products Contain Conflict Minerals

Only about 1% of the companies were able to declare that their products were conflict-free beyond a reasonable doubt. Of the rest, 19% declared that they had no reason to believe their products contained DRC conflict minerals. The remaining 80% admitted that they were unable to determine their raw materials’ country of origin.
EcoVadis's insight:

Disturbing stats show how companies are not monitoring their supply chain; are you?

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Will Corporate Responsibility Continue Under Trump

Will Corporate Responsibility Continue Under Trump | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
Sept. 12, 2012, saw the unveiling of three radical new designs with world-changing potential: the iPhone 5 and the Dodd-Frank Act's rules on human rights.
Although the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is best known for regulating banks, Congress slipped in two novel sections that use informational regulation to deter U.S. companies from fueling war and corruption overseas. Section 1502 forces certain industries (including phone makers and retailers) to identify Congolese conflict minerals in their supply chain. Section 1504 forces oil, gas and mining firms to publicly report the payments they make to dodgy governments around the world.
Like the iPhone 5, both rules encountered early glitches, then fulfilled their innovative potential before being surpassed by improved versions.
EcoVadis's insight:

Can international transparency survive a period of national opacity?

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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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How to Comply With New Human Rights Rules

How to Comply With New Human Rights Rules | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Many companies are lagging in their efforts to achieve compliance with a spate of new laws and regulations worldwide for reporting on the used of forced labor within their supply chains, according to a report by Deloitte.
Driving the sluggishness in some measure is a lack of guidance from regulators and governments on how to comply — far different from the scenario when the SEC’s rules on conflict minerals, written to satisfy a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, took effect in 2011.

EcoVadis's insight:

How are you dealing with these new laws and regulations aimed at identifying cases of human trafficking within 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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Conflict Minerals Compliance Offers Opportunities

PricewaterhouseCoopers says a conflict minerals compliance program can help optimize electronics supply chains and enhance company brands.
EcoVadis's insight:

EcoVadis agrees that companies that elect to go conflict free can turn that status into a competitive advantage.

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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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EU’s International Trade Committee Approves Conflict Minerals Regulation

EU’s International Trade Committee Approves Conflict Minerals Regulation | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

On 24 January 2017, the European’s Parliamentary International Trade Committee (INTA) voted overwhelmingly to support the EU’s conflict minerals proposal.The Regulation sets up a Union system for supply chain due diligence for importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The Regulation, if finalized, is expected to become enforceable on 1 January 2021.

EcoVadis's insight:

Great to see so such involvement from the EU - looking forward for the regulation to be finalised. 

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Electronics coalition launches responsible sourcing initiative

A total of 19 companies have signed a declaration of support for the EEIC's Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI), which is run in partnership with the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI).
As well as electronics giants, including Apple, Accer, Cisco, Dell, Google, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung - it has also attracted support from the automotive industry and has been signed by Ford Motor Company.

EcoVadis's insight:

EICC launched a new initiative which goes beyond the commonly targeted 3TG (tin, tungsten, tantalum & gold)

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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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EU Reaches Deal Aimed at Sustainable Mineral, Metal Supply Chains 

Last week, the EU institutions reached an agreement on new legislation directed at ensuring that minerals and metals entering the 28-nation bloc are transparently and responsibly sourced and do not play a role in financing human rights abuses and conflict in high-risk areas.
The regulation establishes due diligence provisions for sustainable sourcing practices as of 1 January 2021, covering 95 percent of EU imports of tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold, commonly used in electronics, jewellery, packaging, cars, and construction.

EcoVadis's insight:

EU agrees to compulsory checks on conflict mineral imports; are you already doing that on your imports?

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EU Reaches Landmark Agreement on Conflict Minerals Regulation 

EU Reaches Landmark Agreement on Conflict Minerals Regulation  | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

The Regulation, as agreed by the EU Institutions, is set to ensure sustainable sourcing for more than 95% of all EU imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which will be covered by due diligence provisions as of 1 January 2021.  
In the meantime, the Commission and Member States will work to make sure that the necessary structures are in place to ensure EU-wide implementation.

EcoVadis's insight:

Measures to provide support for importers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, will be deployed. Are you ready to comply to this new regulation?

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Conflict Minerals Requirements and Government Contracts 

Conflict Minerals Requirements and Government Contracts  | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it
When it comes to conflict minerals and federal reporting requirements, suppliers and their customers are increasingly recognizing that the breadth and scope of their compliance efforts extend far beyond simply meeting the terms of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Much of the conflict minerals compliance focus has been on U.S. publicly traded companies in meeting the requirements imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, thousands of more companies that are not subject to SEC rules are, in fact, facing possibly greater federal scrutiny related to the conflict minerals issue.
EcoVadis's insight:

Companies, even if they are not a publicly traded company, need to follow the same SEC rule for conflict minerals disclosure. Small or large companies that are providing services to the federal government need to source responsibly; are you engaging your company to follow those rules?

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Responsible Sourcing Network - Blog

Responsible Sourcing Network - Blog | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

More than 50 sustainable, socially responsible, and faith-based investment groups representing $458.67 billion in assets under management released a statement today expressing their support for the SEC’s final rule for Conflict Mineral Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

EcoVadis's insight:

Last October, U.S. business group led by the National Association of Manufacturers launched a lawsuit against the S.E.C. complaining the conflict mineral law is costly to administer and ineffective. This week, investors managing $458.67 billion worth in assets responded to the lawsuit.

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Apple Makes New Pledges on Conflict Minerals, Should Begin Clean Congo Sourcing Program | RAISE Hope for Congo

Apple Makes New Pledges on Conflict Minerals, Should Begin Clean Congo Sourcing Program | RAISE Hope for Congo | Sustainable Procurement News | Scoop.it

Tech giant Apple has come a long way on conflict minerals. In 2010, they were one of the worst consumer electronics companies in their response to this serious problem, and Enough Project, Campus Progress, and A Thousand Sisters protested the opening of their store in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. But Apple has started to turn the corner on conflict minerals with some substantial steps.


EcoVadis's insight:

Apple recently joined the Public Private Alliance on Responsible Minerals Trade.  With such large players entering the game,  conflict minerals due diligence is gaining momentum. Of particular interest is Apple's transparency effort and policy to require its supplier to source from certified smelters. Ongoing monitoring is recommended!

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