Submitted by: Responsible Business Alliance
Posted: Jan 30, 2014 – 10:23 AM EST
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 30 /CSRwire/ - In a landmark achievement in the fight against conflict minerals, the leading industry initiative on conflict minerals, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), has validated conflict-free smelters or refiners of all four conflict minerals for the first time in the initiative’s five-year history. The CFSI calls on more smelters and refiners to join the effort to become conflict-free by undergoing the CFSI’s independent, third-party conflict minerals audit.
“This is a major milestone in the global effort to support an end to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For over five years, over 120 companies have worked together to identify and validate, via a rigorous audit, conflict-free smelters and refiners of tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold. The recent validation of the first conflict-free tungsten smelter by our audit means we can now provide companies with information on conflict-free smelters or refiners of all four conflict minerals. This information is vital to support companies to make responsible choices about conflict minerals sourcing,” said Michael Rohwer, Program Director of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative.
“Having conflict-free smelters now available for all four conflict minerals is a tremendous achievement that we've all been waiting for for years. It means that electronics, aerospace and other companies can make informed choices in their supplier decisions based on conflict-free sources, and it is critical that more and more companies begin doing so,” said Sasha Lezhnev, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, an anti-genocide group.
Understanding the challenges of tracing and determining the conflict status of minerals in the global supply chain, the CFSI developed an audit protocol based on global standards including OECD guidance and U.S. regulations. Audits of tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold (3TG) smelters and refiners are carried out by independent third party auditors, and smelters and refiners found to meet the requirements of the audit protocols are validated as conflict-free. The CFSI publishes the names of those smelters and refiners in order to facilitate conflict-free sourcing choices by companies.
In addition to the smelter audit program, the CFSI provides a range of tools and resources that support conflict-free sourcing, including access to Reasonable Country of Origin Information (RCOI) data, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, which facilitates consistent sourcing data throughout the supply chain, and a range of guidance and analysis papers on practical conflict minerals due diligence. The CFSI also runs twice-yearly workshops on conflict minerals issues which are open to all participants. The 13th CFSI Workshop will take place in Brussels March 17-18, 2014 with a special focus on pending European Union regulations and conflict minerals initiatives based in the Great Lakes region.
The CFSI welcomes new members from any company that uses or transacts in tantalum, tin, tungsten or gold is eligible for membership in the CFSI. The membership application is available online, along with further details of member benefits and annual fees.
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