In any industry, knowing and understanding your supply chain is vital. The steps a company takes in order to fully control their supply chain is long and arduous. Companies do this to ensure that they source their materials ethically and whomever they work with, is supplying those materials responsibly. Around the world, human trafficking and modern day slavery is a real problem, and with the global economy expanding into new markets, the need for labor is rising. The risk for dealing with an entity, that allows this type of problem, is growing.
After two years of running through Conflict Minerals Compliance Programs, the regulated community is asking, where do we go from here? What are the appropriate steps forward to create a more efficient process that will not be heavily scrutinized by regulators and NGOs? In looking at reporting information for 2013 and 2014, very few Form SDs or Conflict Minerals Reports provide extensive discussion on process, more specifically relating to sustainability and transparency in the supply chain. Many have focused on response rates, suggesting that the Reasonable Country of Origin (RCOI) rates
Supply chain collaboration key to Caterpillar success
Frank Li, segment manager for fabrications and non-metallics, identifies training and development opportunities from the supply base and then works with various teams within Caterpillar’s Global Supply Network Division to identify solutions. “In working with our supplier base, I see them grow every day. I’ve seen great results from working with local suppliers — Caterpillar and the local community both benefit from the suppliers’ success,” says Frank. And suppliers benefit from our success. But to achieve this, collaboration is critical.
Transparency is critical for the success of any program, and that includes one focused on sustainability in the supply chain. At AT&T we view our supply chain through the lenses of accountability and transparency with the notion that, “what gets measured gets done.” Based on our experience, the following key actions provide a strong foundation for a transparent and sustainable supply chain:
With only 15 weeks left until the conflict minerals reporting deadline, many suppliers are currently being requested to comply with their customers’ smelter and conflict minerals requests. Smelter Verification for conflict minerals is the process through which an issuer or non-issuer validates the list of smelters they have received and will be providing to their supplier or including in the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
Our upcoming interview will address a broad range of conflict minerals post-filing questions as well as present insights from a supplier’s perspective from last years filing results.
Dr. Chris Bayer, principal investigator for the Tulane University’s Conflict Minerals post-filing research, surveyed conflict minerals issuer companies to determine impact to industry. Topic areas range from industries impacted to the cost incurred by companies to comply with the law.