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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strategic CSR - Conflict minerals (III)

Well, the verdict is in on the first year of conflict minerals reports that were due over the summer:
"Companies by June 2 had to report on their attempts to determine whether their suppliers used gold, tin, tungsten or tantalum traced to mining operations run by armed militias in Democratic Republic of Congo and the surrounding region. The effort is part of a rule under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 aimed at cutting off funding to violent groups."
And, as noted in the article in the url below, the results were resounding:
"Some 80% of the companies said they couldn't determine whether their supply chains contained those minerals, according to the study, by law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel."
How sure can firms be of their lack of certainty? What evidence do we have that the firms took the regulation seriously and performed due diligence?
"Only four out of 1,300 U.S.-listed companies sought external audits of their efforts to root out so-called conflict minerals in their supply chains, according to [the] study released Thursday."
Chalk up another success to the effectiveness of coercion (that something must be done) over persuasion (that it is in the firms' self-interest to do it).
Have a good weekend.
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Conflict-mineral Audits Get Few Takers
By Emily Chasan
September 19, 2014
The Wall Street Journal
Late Edition – Final