New initiative aims to advance responsible sourcing of raw materials in technology supply chains

shutterstock_228251947

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) today announced the launch of the Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI) to address the most significant social and environmental impacts related to the extraction and processing of raw materials used in the global supply chains of technology companies in multiple industries.

Years before the adoption of the “conflict minerals” policy in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, companies in this initiative started to take steps to identify and mitigate adverse social and environmental impacts from the mining sector. Now these companies are monitoring a growing body of research suggesting that these impacts may be associated with a variety of metals and minerals that extend beyond tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) covered by this legislation. The members of the RRMI will review additional raw materials and sourcing practices for possible inclusion in their responsible sourcing strategies.

The RRMI will use international standards such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as its guideposts. The initiative will operate as a working group, co-sponsored by the EICC and CFSI. Along with participating companies and cross-sector partners, the RRMI will develop proposals and recommendations to drive meaningful social and environmental improvements in mineral and metal supply chains. Throughout this ongoing process, the RRMI will serve as a focal point for engagement with interested stakeholders such as governments, civil society, industry and others.

"Responsible sourcing of raw materials is a complex issue that requires a collaborative approach with governments, civil society and multiple industries," said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC). "By working together, we believe we can have a greater, more positive impact and help members meet current and future market, legal and regulatory expectations."

EICC and CFSI members can participate in the RRMI by signing a Declaration of Support that demonstrates their companies’ commitment to the principles of the RRMI. In the near future the RRMI will develop a mechanism for partners and stakeholders and other companies that are not EICC or CFSI members to participate as well. For more information, including FAQs, the Declaration of Support and a list of participating companies, visit www.eiccoalition.org/initiatives/RRMI or contact [email protected].

About EICC

The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. EICC members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 110 electronics companies with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow @EICCoalition.

About CFSI

The CFSI is a multi-industry initiative with over 340 member companies, including associations and service providers. Our members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources including the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data, and a range of guidance documents on responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG). The CFSI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with leading civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit www.conflictfreesourcing.org.