Laptops, tablets and mobile devices all contain precious minerals such as tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. These minerals are often sourced in countries where armed conflicts take place. As the mines are often in the hands of armed groups who buy weapons with the earnings, the local community does not benefit from the high value of those raw materials. For that reason, producers of electronics, jewellery and the automotive industry are under growing pressure to act both ethically and transparently.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has set up the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The OECD Due Diligence provides detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices.
The guidance contains a five-step framework:
The guidelines provided by the OECD is clear but that doesn’t mean that implementing these guidelines is an easy task. The supply chain of conflict minerals is complicated: The local organization of the mines, including the extraction, processing, transporting and trading is often unstructured. This makes it difficult for companies to get insight into issues in their supply chain.
ChainPoint’s solutions can support companies with the five steps described in the framework by integrating supply chain mapping, supplier monitoring & evaluation and product-level traceability in one easy-to-use software platform.
All this is described in greater detail in our recently published solution paper where we outline conflict minerals, OECD due diligence, regulations, our software solution and much more.