The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) recently held the sixth extractives supply chain workshop in Washington, D.C. to continue the ongoing dialog regarding responsible sourcing of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold.
Joining many representatives from the electronics industry, participants at the June 20 and 21 workshop included stakeholders from entities in the tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold supply chains, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ministry of Mines, the Rwandan Geology and Mines Authority, the DRC and Rwandan mining and trading sectors, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), the automobile, jewelry, medical, retail, aerospace, and defense industries, and many civil society and socially-responsible investor organizations.
The U.S. State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, provided the opening address highlighting the need for continued work in the African Great Lakes Region to help strengthen peace and security and ensure that the region becomes more “vibrant” and “economically viable.” He also commented that the State Department is conducting many listening sessions to understand and shape the consequences of recent legislation, such as the U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Section 1502 (“Dodd-Frank) related to conflict minerals. Ambassador Yamamoto concluded his remarks by stating that the U.S. State Department is working to build solutions that help the region and enhance U.S. business overseas.
The theme of the presentations focused on the convergence and coordination of many initiatives which, when fully implemented, can enable responsible mineral trade and economic development. These initiatives can also support company due diligence requirements and disclosure obligations as defined by Dodd-Frank. Initiatives reviewed included an update on the ICGLR’s Mineral Tracking and Certification Scheme, the ITRI Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi), the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, and BGR’s certification and mineral fingerprinting activities. Also discussed was the development of a public-private partnership with the U.S. government and industry members.
GeSI and EICC members discussed the continuing development of the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) program, highlighting progress across all four critical metals: tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold. Tantalum assessments are currently being conducted; tin, tungsten, and gold assessments are planned for later in 2011. The Due Diligence Request Template, a common multi-sector template for downstream companies to utilize for the collection and tracking of conflict minerals diligence information from their supply chains, was also reviewed. The Due Diligence Request Template is slated for public release on the EICC GeSI website July 2011.
This session reinforced the importance of collaboration between the full supply chains (mines to end-product producers), multiple industries, governments, and civil society. It is through this collaboration and harmonization of initiatives that progress can be made in the Great Lakes Region.
The next workshop is scheduled for September 19-20, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.
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About GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative)
The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is an international strategic partnership of the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector and organisations committed to creating and promoting technologies and practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability. Formed in 2001, GeSI’s vision is a sustainable world through responsible, ICT-enabled transformation. GeSI fosters global and open cooperation, informs the public of its members’ voluntary actions to improve their sustainability performance, and promotes technologies that foster sustainable development. GeSI partners with two UN organizations - the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) - as well as a range of international stakeholders committed to ICT sustainability objectives. These partnerships help shape GeSI’s global vision regarding the evolution of the ICT sector, and how it can best meet the challenges of sustainable development. For more information, see www.gesi.org.
About EICC (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition)
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 60 global electronics companies. For more information or to view the EICC Code of Conduct, see www.eicc.info or the latest EICC annual report.
For more information, contact:
+32 2 282 8442
+1 512 934 8922