The Growing Pains of Being Conflict-Free
Bianca Consunji writes for Mashable about the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank Section 1502, or what some miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo call “Obama’s Law”. Bianca concludes the Conflict Minerals rule has in fact reduced the black market of Tin, Tungsten, Tantalum and Gold, “3Ts and gold” for warlords, which has prolonged “decades of terror within the country”; yet, the reduction of mineral sourcing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo has also reduced the market price of minerals not related to warlords.
In the Mashable article, Toby Whitney, former legislative director of Rep. Jim McDermott is quoted:
“When you break a black market, some of the innocent beneficiaries of the black market will no longer be able to benefit from it. The Central African mineral black market has been one of the largest black markets in the world for decades. It was fueling the war to burn hotter than it would have, otherwise.”
As a result, debate over the efficacy of Dodd-Frank 1502 remains. However, Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility at AMD, writes for Huffington Post in collaboration with Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President of Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments, and Patricia Jurewicz, Director at Responsible Sourcing Network:
“This obstacle must be overcome to break the link between minerals trade and war. There is a significant reform process that is beginning to transform the minerals trade in Congo and move the region from a war economy to a peaceful trading zone. But we must not stop there -- we also must join forces to help those temporarily displaced by the journey toward a stable and economically attractive Congo.”
Mohin’s collaborative approach includes governments, non-profits, investors, businesses, and civil society. In order for businesses, however, to support responsible sourcing from the region, they must first know if and where they are sourcing minerals. So, an imperative part of this process is for companies to understand the source of minerals in their products. While understanding the origin of a mineral in a product may seem like an easy first step, it is important for “civil society” to understand that supply chain transparency for businesses is a challenging part of the process. “Civil society” must encourage businesses to “knowyoursupplychain” so that they can make informed, ethical choices.
Source Intelligence, a supply chain transparency and engagement company will be hosting a webinar, January 29, on how to understand your supply chain in regards to Conflict Minerals and reporting for Dodd-Frank 1502. Conflict Minerals Reporting: How to Get it Right By May 2015 will help companies develop a program that works for 2014 SEC reporting and beyond.
Conflict Minerals Webinar, January 29th, register here.
What do you think? Let’s continue this conversation on Twitter @sourceintel. #knowyoursupplychain
Photo Credit: Sasha Lezhnev, Enough Project
To read the full articles quoted, please visit: Mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/12/02/conflict-free-minerals-problem/ Huffington Post: http://huff.to/1CIJIj1