December 2, 2012 – December 9, 2012

Investors Ask SEC to Defend Conflict Minerals Rule

As reported by Financial Advisor magazine, sustainable investor groups are urging the SEC not to let a recently filed lawsuit delay the agency from implementing the conflict minerals rule. Investor groups signing the letter include the Boston Common Asset ManagementCalvert Investments, the Responsible Sourcing Network, and US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Living. The investors oppose the lawsuit and want the SEC to vigorously defend itself and reject any requests for a stay of the rule’s implementation. The investor group notes in a November 30 letter to the SEC that violence is escalating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Court Expedites Business Challenge of SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

The World Trade Online provides a brief overview of the latest development in the business group challenge to the conflict minerals rule. In late November, the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and National Association of Manufacturers made a request to expedite the challenge proceedings. The court granted this request and adopted a briefing schedule for the case. The business groups pushed the court to expedite its proceedings because they are hoping to secure a legal victory before the most burdensome aspects of the conflict minerals rule take effect.

European Union Considers Implementing Conflict Minerals Regulation

EuropeThe European Union (EU) began discussions on whether to develop a conflict minerals-type regulation during a December 5, 2012 internal workshop. The EU considered implementing regulations that mimic either the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidelines or the US Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act. Industry stakeholders have encouraged the EU to focus on the scope of conflict minerals legislation and to gather information from industries on their experience with conflict minerals legislation.

EICC-GeSi Package Used With Microsoft’s Skydrive Seamlessly Enables Supply Chain Data Gathering Over the Cloud

The EICC-GeSi Conflict Minerals template contains information specific to each supplier that declares the source of specified metals, including but not limited to smelters and mines. Papros Inc.’s product MRPRO automates several tasks associated with completion of this template. Using Microsoft’s Skydrive along with the EICC-GeSi template offers an easy method of cloud deployment of the EICC-GeSi template while the MRPRO dashboard on a desktop offers aggregation, summarization, and monitoring of the supplier data. Read the EICC-GeSi package release.

Forums Explore Impact and Responses to SEC Regulations on Conflict Minerals

Dozens of companies gathered in a pair of November forums organized by the IPC, an electronics industry trade association. The IPC offers several initial resources and tools to help companies comply with the rule. Forum participants learned that despite widespread uncertainty, it would be far riskier to adopt a “wait-and-see” strategy and not be prepared to file a report at all.

ECIA Launches Conflict Minerals Information Site

The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) recently launched a one-stop resource for companies looking for conflict minerals information from manufacturers of electronic components. The ECIA site provides links to manufacturers’ statements and polices regarding the use of conflict minerals.