Cal Poly Passes Conflict Minerals Resolution

 

On May 20th, 2014, the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) Academic Senate passed a conflict minerals resolution, making Cal Poly the 17th school to go conflict-free. Below is the official statement recently published on the University's Office of Contracts, Procurement, and Risk Management website, which acknowledges the problem of conflict minerals, resolves to take into account whether companies are working to address the problem when making purchasing decisions for the University, and calls upon the entire California State University system to adopt similar practices.

For more information about how to make your school, city, or organization conflict-free, visit www.raisehopeforcongo.org/campus

Conflict Materials Statement

Cal Poly is aware of the role that minerals found in consumer electronics products play in perpetuating the current humanitarian crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The University is working on ways to monitor compliance of its partners in the technology industry to ensure they are keeping up with industry standards to remedy this situation and others that arise in the future.

Major contracted suppliers of electronics to the University belong to the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), an organization devoted to improving social and environmental conditions in electronics supply chains. The EICC requires its members to follow a Code of Conduct which provides guidance in five critical areas of Corporate Social Responsibility performance – labor, health and safety, environment, management system and ethics.

The EICC is committed to improving conditions in the electronics supply chain and strongly believes that mining activities that fuel conflict are unacceptable. The EICC has partnered with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative to enable companies to source conflict-free minerals through actions including: implementing Conflict-Free Smelter (CSF) and Due Diligence programs, supporting in-region sourcing schemes to enable future legitimate trade from DRC, and engaging with stakeholders for collaboration and efficiency. Cal Poly supports the efforts of the EICC, and encourages companies to join the coalition and other similar programs in order to help ensure that their products do not contain conflict minerals and are in fact benefiting Congolese communities.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has drafted a set of guidelines to help companies meet their due diligence reporting requirements. The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas provides detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. The Due Diligence Guidance is for use by any company potentially sourcing minerals or metals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Cal Poly urges companies to implement the OECD due diligence guidelines, and will favor companies that are taking steps to implement them. As one of the leading poly-technic academic institutions in the nation, Cal Poly is aware that there have been recent legislative and industry-wide efforts to address the issue of conflict minerals. This includes Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act that was passed in Congress in 2010 and implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012, as well as SB 861 which passed in the California State legislature in October of 2011. Upon request of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Cal Poly intends to follow Public Contract Code 10490, which provides a specific mechanism for identifying firms that do not comply with Federal reporting requirements related to conflict minerals. Cal Poly intends to uphold the commitments to social and environmental responsibility made in its mission statement, by implementing this mechanism to account for conflict minerals in our business processes.

Cal Poly strongly urges the other universities in the CSU system to comply with the recommendation of the OGC and adhere to PCC 10490 by acknowledging the role that universities play in the issue of conflict minerals and amending university procurement policies to favor companies that are implementing conflict-free practices. The Academic Senate at Cal Poly passed a resolution on May 20, 2014, expressing its awareness of the conflict over minerals in the DRC and its intention to purchase conflict-free products when they are available. Cal Poly's values are reflected in its students and alumni, and wants all Mustangs to embody the idea of social justice when they enter the workforce. Cal Poly is proud to take a leading stance on this important human rights issue and hopes that other universities and companies will stand with us to combat violence and human rights abuses.

Read the full statement here >>