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Driving a Revolution in Conflict-Free Minerals
May 16th, 2012
Much of the focus in the sustainability movement thus far has been directed toward the environmental aspect of sustainability – from reducing emissions and diverting waste to preserving and maximizing resources. As much as companies are doing well to reduce their impacts on this front, “people” are just as important as “planet” for true triple bottom line success, and it’s critical that businesses also perform due diligence to identify and eliminate human-rights issues that may be lurking in their supply chains. Recent legislation such as the CA Transparency in Supply Chains Act – requiring large manufacturers and suppliers doing business in California to publicly disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains – reflects this shift in consciousness, and encourages business to use its power towards actively resolving these issues.
The electronics industry may not be the first to come to mind around the subject of human-rights abuses, but the sourcing of certain mined minerals integral to the production of automobiles, airplanes and most consumer electronic devices often contributes to ongoing corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an area rich in these precious resources. Similar to the CA TSC Act, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act would require that companies trace all minerals used in their products, and report any sourced from conflict-stricken areas to the SEC, but the Commission has yet to fully support the measure.
Join us on Wednesday, June 6, as a panel of key players with various perspectives on this contentious issue will outline a way businesses can proactively respond to the issue of conflict minerals in their products, thereby reducing risk to their brand and creating a new value proposition. Through a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder approach to materials sourcing that includes supporting economic development and capacity-building in mining areas and beyond, companies can leverage their diplomatic influence and buying power to encourage peacekeeping efforts.
Patricia Jurewicz, Director, Responsible Sourcing Network, a project of As You Sow, where she works to address labor and human rights abuse issues.
Litofe Sloj Silika, CEO/Business Development, Efficient Care, LLC
Zoe McMahon, Director of Social & Environmental Sustainability and Compliance within HP’s Ethics and Compliance Office. She leads HP’s global programs relating to material content and ethical sourcing.
Carolyn Duran, Materials EHS Manager, Intel leads the conflict minerals program and manages a team of technologists who ensure supply line regulatory requirements.