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Title:Responsibility in the supply chain: conflict-free minerals
Date of publishing:September 30, 2015
Also available in the following languages:Dutch, French

Responsibility in the supply chain: conflict-free minerals
September 30, 2015

In its most recent sustainability focus Vigeo analyses the approach of companies in the Automobile and the Technology Hardware sector on conflict-minerals. Minerals are often an essential component of their products, however, many of them are located in conflict zones which, in certain cases, are characterized by areas of lawlessness.

Sourcing of conflict minerals (i.e. tin, tantalum (coltan), tungsten and gold) is a challenge for many companies that use minerals acquired through their supply chain. Due to a global spotlight on the issue, companies are under scrutiny from human rights activists, non-governmental organisations, investors, consumers or other market forces to prove that the minerals they use are conflict-free. Moreover we see that companies’ responsibility to ensure respect for human rights by their subsidiaries and supply chains is gaining traction on the political agenda.

Vigeo’s analysis of measures and initiatives taken by companies in this regard shows that, for both sectors, the biggest percentage of companies reporting publicly on conflict minerals are found in North-American. This result this is mainly driven by the legal obligation in the US to report on the use of specific conflict minerals through Section 1502 of the Dodd–Frank Act. On the other hand, companies that are registered in regions like Europe or Asia-Pacific where there is no reporting regulation, take initiatives on their own to publish reports on their use of conflict-zone minerals.

Read the full sustainability focus