Oblate JPIC supports Congo Conflict-free Minerals Initiative
June 28th, 2011
A workshop on the extractives industry supply chain on June 20th in northern Virginia pulled together more than 80 participants, including representatives from central African governments, the high-tech industry, mining companies, NGOs, and faith based investors, to discuss responsible mineral sourcing from Africa. Freeport McMoRan, Dell, Microsoft, Advanced Micro Devices, Sony and HP were come of the companies attending. Faith Responsible and Socially Responsible investors included the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Boston Common Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management and members of the Congo Global Coalition.
The workshop was organized by Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Electronic Industry Coalition (EICC). Apart from the overall usefulness of the meeting, it provided an opportunity for JPIC staff to meet with representatives of companies whom we engage in shareholder dialogues on sustainability issues.
The roundtable discussions focused on responsible mineral sourcing from the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring Central Africa countries. Minerals extracted from eastern Congo, mostly the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten – the 3Ts – are essential to the electronics devices we use every day. Unfortunately, some of these minerals have been contributing to violent conflict in Eastern Congo.
The GeSI and EICC workshop was designed to develop a fuller understanding of the issues associated with conflict minerals and the efforts to stop their use in manufacturing. The discussion addressed the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure law, OECD Due Diligence and the EICC-GeSi conflict free smelter program. Following the workshop, JPIC staff participated in an investors’ meeting with the Security and Exchange Commission staff (SEC) in which the discussion focused on maintaining the protections on sourcing, designed to prevent the use of conflict minerals, written into the Dodd-Frank legislation.