Major industry associations including the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have teamed up to address conflict minerals compliance questions.
AAFA, NEMA, the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, the Toy Industry Association and the United States Fashion Industry Association worked with supply chain management company Source Intelligence and law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel to launch what they say is the first cross-industry training and resource center, addressing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Conflict Minerals compliance regulation.
The goal of the joint initiative is to deploy easy-to-use conflict minerals compliance tools across the seven industry associations. By providing the member companies and their vendors and contractors with the information and resources needed to meet the compliance requirements, all players along the supply chain can spend less time navigating policy, and more time producing products and services, the organizations say.
On Aug. 22, 2012, the SEC adopted a final rule to implement Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The rule requires publicly held companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals as defined by the law: tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold (3TG) originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and specific adjoining countries.
The first report, covering calendar year 2013, is due to the SEC by May 31. The SEC and Government Accountability Office estimate that approximately 6,000 issuers and 280,000 non-issuer companies will be directly or indirectly impacted by the rule.
The forthcoming conflict minerals reporting deadline is among the 2014 sustainability trends that Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services group have identified for companies.
Last summer, Ecodesk launched a monitoring tool for businesses to track conflict minerals used in their supply chains.