WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 2010 – The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) are pleased to announce the launch of their Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program and completion of the first tantalum smelter assessment.
The CFS program aims to identify smelters that can demonstrate through an independent third party assessment that the raw materials they procured did not originate from sources that contribute to conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The launch of the CFS program is the culmination of a multi-stakeholde project that started in September 2009.
This due diligence enables mineral buyers and those further downstream in the supply chain to better understand the origin of the materials in their supply chain. The result of this assessment may also be utilized by companies as a part of their compliance obligations for the anticipated regulations stemming from the conflict minerals section of the new Dodd-Frank Financial Reform law (Section 1502).
During the development of the CFS program, GeSI and the EICC established a core group of stakeholders to provide input and guidance. This group represented nongovernmental organizations, socially responsible investors, electronics companies, and members of the tantalum supply chain. GeSI and the EICC also held five workshops with members of the tantalum and tin supply chains to discuss challenges and opportunities related to responsible sourcing of the materials. GeSI and the EICC also were active in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) due diligence process to ensure alignment with OECD´s due diligence guidance on responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
Before the launch of the CFS program, members of GeSI and the EICC also visited several tantalum smelters in the United States, Asia, and Europe. This was followed by a pilot assessment of a tantalum smelter to test the assessment processes.
Additional tantalum smelters are scheduled to be assessed under the CFS in early 2011. The CFS is slated to expand to assess smelters of tin, tungsten, and gold throughout 2011. An initial list of tantalum smelters who passed the assessment will be published on the EICC and GeSI websites in the first quarter of 2011. The site will be updated as new assessment information becomes available.
The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is uniquely dedicated to information and communication technologies (ICT) sustainability through innovation. GeSI brings together leading ICT companies – including telecommunications service providers and manufacturers as well as industry associations – and non-governmental organisations committed to achieving sustainability objectives through innovative technology. In June 2008, GeSI became a legal independent entity, an international non-profit association (AISBL) with an office near the EU institutions in Brussels, Belgium. For more information, see www.gesi.org.
The EICC was established in 2004 to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions in the global electronic supply chain through use of a standardized code of conduct. The EICC was incorporated in 2007 as an association to ensure greater awareness of the Code, and to expand its adoption across the industry. The EICC includes over 50 global electronics companies. For more information or to view the EICC Code of Conduct, see www.eicc.info.
Download full press release here: GeSI and EICC Complete First Tantalum Assessment Focused on Responsible Sourcing of Minerals
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