Supply chain transparency

Dialogue was initiated by investors with 16 global consumer electronics companies sourcing minerals from the DRC. The aim was to ensure that companies are not linked to involvement in the on-going conflict in the DRC and surrounding countries, and that supply chain policies are transparent and sufficiently robust to address risks of reputational damage and consumer boycotts. Over the course of the engagement, which included 18 company meetings, average company performance improved 23% from 2010 to 2011, with greatest progress in the area of disclosure. These positive results and companies’ willingness to engage in dialogue were partly driven by anticipation of new legislation. In 2012, the SEC passed the Conflict Minerals Provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, requiring greater company disclosure on the issue.