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Conflict Minerals

Situation

 
Companies in the electronics industry are being exposed to increasing pressure to prove that their products do not include so-called 'Conflict Minerals'. Tantalum is an example of such a rare mineral. It has become an integral part of mobile devices, because it is needed for the construction of small and efficient capacitors.


Conflict minerals are rare earth materials that are found in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries. A large part of the global reserves of these minerals are found in the local resource-rich areas, where some war-like conditions prevail. The armed conflicts are financed, among others sources, by the trade in conflict minerals.

 
In the United States, the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in 2010. Enshrined in section 1502 are various reporting requirements in the context of conflict minerals. These must be met by all U.S. companies under the control of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The reporting requirements are passed by the OEMs through the global supply chains, so that ultimately it is estimated that more than 195.000 companies worldwide will be affected.

  
The Dodd-Frank Act requires that affected companies must declare the presence of certain raw materials, such as tin, tungsten, tantalum, or gold, originating from regions of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo or neighboring countries.


Challenge

 
The world has a severe scarcity of mineral resources and there is a distinct difference between the interests of users and suppliers of these raw materials. Therefore, it must be in everyone's interest to create a peaceful, fair and sustainable use of our global resources.

 
Companies are exposed to many intricate problems due to the complexity of tracing minerals through the supply chain. Between the extraction of raw materials and the completion of the final product , there are many intermediate steps, so tracking the origin of minerals difficult is extremely difficult.

 
In addition, each company faces a large number of inquiries from its customers, which need to be managed, answered, and then sent back in an aggregated form. Manual data management is not a feasible solution for most companies, because the related inefficiencies and the potential for errors can not be ignored.


Solution


Two industry associations in the electronics industry (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and Global e-Sustainability Initiative) have formed a consortium, which has created a worldwide-leading standard for reporting on conflict minerals in the supply chain.

 
The iPoint Conflict Minerals platform (iPCMP) builds on these established standards, allowing businesses that are affected by the Dodd-Frank Act to efficiently manage the reporting processes. The platform is based on iPoint's extensive experience in the creation and implementation of product-related environmental compliance solutions within value chains (for example, the REACh iPoint solution for communication in the supply chain).


By working closely with industry and association,s iPoint can offer a tailored solution for the fulfillment of the conflict minerals legislation.

 
The following functions are supported by the software:

  •  Create and aggregate (“roll-up”) reports according to the EICC/GeSI reporting standard
  • Track and manage incoming and outgoing requests
  • The EICC/GeSI "Conflict-Free Smelter" list is already integrated into the solution and will be updated automatically
  • Import and export reports in Excel format
  • Creation & management of new smelters
  • Comprehensive real-time validation checks to ensure that the necessary information is complete and consistent
  • Sophisticated security concept to maintain confidentiality of trade relations
  • Personalized user accounts with rights management
  • Online data storage and management
  • Import of supplier contact data into the system

Advantages

  • Easy and intuitive user interface
  • Significantly increased efficiency in comparison to manual data entry
  • Adequate data quality is ensured through validation
  • Browser-based, "on demand" application
  • Support for multiple languages
  • Telephone customer service with global accessibility (Monday - Friday, 24hrs a day)
  • eLearning system for hassle-free training of new users
  • Coverage of the entire supply chain through licensing options, adapted to the needs of large companies (premium version) and smaller companies (basic version).
  • Flexible system architecture enables rapid adjustments of our solution to changing reporting requirements
  • Free Trial Period