Bringing together nearly 200 representatives from global industry, government and civil society to discuss and debate current resources and future challenges on conflict minerals in the supply chain, the 12th Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative Workshop concluded Thursday evening in Washington, D.C. Key topics covered included forthcoming European Union legislation on conflict minerals, whether or not to source conflict minerals from the Great Lakes region and updates on best practices on data collection, reporting and auditing for conflict-free minerals.
In the keynote address, European Union Minister-Counselor Hiddo Houben, representing the EU Delegation to the United States, shared updates and insight about the EU’s development of legislation on conflict minerals, currently slated to be introduced at the end of 2013 or early 2014. He emphasized the EU’s review of existing regulations and guidance and stressed the importance of gathering insight from the business community and civil society.
“The energy at this workshop was outstanding, with a strong dialogue between industry, government and civil society. Five years into the existence of this initiative, we’re thrilled to see more and more companies getting involved every day on this vital issue,” said Robert Lederer, Executive Director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition.
“Responsible supply chain management is a complex challenge. By talking openly and honestly about the conflict mineral challenges faced by the industry, we are able to work together to develop effective tools and resources to help address this important issue,” said Alice Prudhoe, Executive Director of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
Additional session topics at the workshop included updates on the conflict minerals certification and traceability programs, compliance and reporting basics and examples, and downstream due diligence. The 13th Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative Workshop will take place in Brussels in March or April of 2014. Further information on the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative can be found at www.conflictfreesourcinginitiative.org.