Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Auto Industry Gets Socially Responsible on Conflict Minerals
A new system has been created to help auto and other companies identify and avoid products sourced from conflict zones. The initiative is led by Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and iPoint, and involves two dozen AIAG affiliates. The effort has resulted in a data management tool called iPCMP (the iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform). The tool has been designed to help industry decision-makers to take action on the issue by avoiding mineral sources with links to violence.
The database will also help companies meet the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and related rules from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which were adopted on August 22. The rule requires companies to publicly disclose their use of conflict minerals that originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country. Among the industry OEMs and suppliers supporting the initiative are Bosch, Chrysler Group, Ford, and Honda.
Conflict minerals come mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is the center of the illicit trade of metal minerals such as tungsten, tin and tantalum. Profits from this trade will go to finance rebel groups and parts of the national army as well as the purchasing of all types of weapons. The minerals in questions are mostly used by auto companies and companies in the consumer electronics, sports equipment and jewelry sectors.
"We anticipated the need from our member companies and worked with them to develop a system that is endorsed across and beyond the automotive industry that will help everyone achieve greater supply chain transparency," said Tanya Bolden, AIAG's corporate responsibility program development manager.
AIAG and iPoint also collaborated with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) in developing the iPCMP, which is based on the EICC-GeSI template for data collection. They anticipate that hundreds of thousands companies all over the world, from a wide range of industries, will need to comply with the new reporting requirements.
Image credit: iPoint