Enough Project on Historic Dodd-Frank Conflict Mineral Disclosures to SEC
US Companies Reveal Today If Products Fund Atrocities
Today is the deadline for companies to disclose any conflict minerals in their product supply chains to the Securities and Exchange Commission in compliance with Section 1502 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“It’s an historic day in the fight against corporate abuses in supply chains,” said Sasha Lezhnev. “For the first time ever, electronics and other companies are disclosing whether or not rape and mass killing are part of their supply chains. But the conflict in Congo is not over, and we still need to see more action from jewelers and the U.S. government to fight against conflict gold.”
“For years, electronics, jewelry, and other companies turned a blind eye to what was inside their supply chains. With today’s filings to the SEC, they can no longer do that,” said Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast. “From now on, consumers can look under the hood and judge for themselves whether the maker of their smart phone or necklace is getting rid of blood minerals from Congo and make an informed choice when they go shopping.”
“The Dodd-Frank law on conflict minerals has already had a major impact on deadly armed groups in eastern Congo, helping demilitarize 67% of mines for 3 out of 4 conflict minerals and take away lucrative revenue sources from warlords such as ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Cobra’, added Lezhnev. “Today’s disclosures by electronics and other companies help move that process forward. Electronics and jewelry companies now need to move forward and make fully conflict-free products that include certified minerals from Congo.”
As a part of the U.S. Government's Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law in July 2010, Section 1502 requires companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to trace the sources of their tin, tungsten, tantalum, or gold minerals and disclose whether or not they are sourcing conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo or neighboring countries. The reporting requirements mandate the auditing and disclosure of mineral supply chains, relating to products that use those minerals, and provides the commercial leverage to catalyze reform.
PREDICTED COSTS TO BUSINESSES WERE OVERSTATED
“As companies file, we are finding that their actual costs of implementing Dodd-Frank are much lower than what lobbyists estimated. For a $1 billion company, the real cost of filing is approximately $150,000, according to industry experts Claigan Environmental, continued Lezhnev.” This is in large part due to the fact that most companies can use the industry-wide systems set up by Intel, Motorola Solutions, and industry leaders, particularly the Conflict-Free Smelter Program.”
The Enough Project introduced a new consumer action to demand that electronics and other companies work to build fully conflict-free products and source clean minerals from Congo. Enough publishes conflict mineral company rankings and has worked with companies like Intel and others to rid their product supply chains of conflict minerals fueling the deadly decades-old conflict in the Congo.
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.
Two new developments are happening this week on conflict minerals. First, Intel launched a major new web hub to spread awareness about the issue of conflict minerals and to help move solutions forward. Meanwhile, Enough introduced a new consumer action to demand that electronics and other companies work to build fully conflict-free products and source clean minerals from Congo. Read More »
On March 5, 2014, the European Commission released its long-awaited responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones. The Regulation – basically a draft law – would establish a system that is fundamentally different from the approach taken by the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule. Business & human rights experts, namely the architect of the U.N. Guiding Principles (UNGPs), John Ruggie, also expressed concern with regards to the non-binding character of the due diligence exercise envisaged by the E.U. Read More »
This is the first in a blog series about issues currently perpetuating the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the conflict minerals trade, sexual violence, and child soldier recruitment. Although many Congolese are facing incredibly difficult situations, there are local civil society groups taking action and creating avenues for sustainable peace. In this blog series, I will discuss each issue and give examples of organizations making positive changes. Read More »
Nonprofit groups and campus organizations throughout Massachusetts recently united at Boston University for a conference with three key goals: Elevate the conversation on the Congo within our communities; Reinvigorate our civic engagement on policies that can help bring an end to the conflict in Congo; and Commit our campuses to the conflict-free movement. Read More »
On April 14, the US District Court of Appeals issued its decision on a case challenging the validity of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals rule that originated from Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act. 12 members of Congress led by Senator Durbin issued a letter to the SEC, strongly encouraging it to proceed with the implementation of the rule. Read More »
Actor and activist Emmanuelle Chriqui joined hip hop artist Omékongo Dibinga and Raise Hope for Congo Campaign Manager JD Stier on a HuffPo Live segment to discuss the growing movement for peace in Congo and launch a new music video, "Congo on the Come Up." Read More »
In 2013, American University (AU) became the first school in the Washington, D.C. area to adopt conflict-free purchasing guidelines. The co-leaders of Empower Congo, a campus group that took on the Conflict Free Campus Initiative have outlined how and why they were successful in reaching this turning point and their plans to continue advocating for the people of Congo. Read More »