Companies, NGOs, Investors On Challenge To Conflict Mineral Rule
We are a multi-stakeholder group (“MSG”) representing diverse organizations including issuers from several industrial sectors; sustainable, responsible and faith-based investors; and non-governmental organizations.
Since 2009 — predating the passage of the conflict minerals legislation (Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) — the MSG has been working together to develop an agenda for action to address the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) by cutting off funding from trade in conflict minerals. After the law was passed, the MSG began to develop consensus policy positions on the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rulemaking to implement the provision. In the course of this rulemaking, we came together to file four separate comment letters, meet with SEC Commissioners and staff, and several MSG participants sat on panels at the SEC’s Roundtable on Conflict Minerals in October 2011. Our extensive efforts in this rulemaking were evidence of the shared concern we have about this issue and our belief that we could become part of the solution through bringing transparency to the supply chains for these minerals.
Recently, a petition was filed by the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable for judicial review of the final rule implementing Section 1502. The MSG would like to take this opportunity to urge all stakeholders to continue the important work underway to address the critical issue of transparency in the supply chains for these minerals. Our organizations will also continue to work towards this end, as we strongly believe these efforts are a matter of corporate social responsibility. In this context, we would like to make three points:
- As early as 2007, companies and industry associations, working with investors and advocacy groups, have developed programs that advance responsible sourcing of minerals. Several initiatives, such as those coordinated through the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Workgroup were initiated before Section 1502 was enacted and many MSG members will continue regardless of this lawsuit.
- By establishing expectations within our supply chains, we are creating demand for responsibly sourced minerals.
- Ultimately, a cross-industry approach to this issue is needed for responsible sourcing of minerals from the Great Lakes region in Central Africa. The active participation of all stakeholders is needed to make meaningful progress. We welcome additional participation in the development and implementation of a common approach.
The organizations in the MSG will continue to work together to eliminate the link between violence and human rights abuses and the mineral trade in the DRC and surrounding countries regardless of the lawsuit. We all agree that the violence and abuse in this region of the world must end and that an important part of the solution is the efficient and responsible minerals sourcing process in which many MSG members are already participating.
|Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.|
|Africa Faith and Justice Network|
|American Baptist Home Mission Societies|
|Boston Common Asset Management|
|Bureau d’Etudes Scientifiques et Techniques|
|Child Labor Coalition|
|Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.|
|Congo Global Action|
|CREA: Center for Reflection, Education and Action|
|General Electric Company|
|Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility|
|Jewish World Watch|
|KEMET Electronics Corp.|
|Mercy Investment Services, Inc.|
|Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment|
|Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate- JPIC office|
|Motorola Solutions Inc.|
|National Consumers League|
|Responsible Sourcing Network, a project of As You Sow|
|Partnership Africa Canada|
|Royal Philips Electronics|
|Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ|
|Trillium Asset Management, LLC|
|Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment|
|US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment|
|Veris Wealth Partners|
|Wespath Investment Management|