WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coalition of investors welcomes yesterday's SEC rule on Section 1502, the "Conflict Minerals" provision, of the Dodd-Frank Act.
The final rule details how corporations will report to the SEC on their "conflict minerals" from the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a violent conflict has raged for 14 years. The four conflict minerals are used in large quantities in electronic components and other manufactured products.
"Investors will benefit from this rule, since it promotes transparency at all levels of a company's operations. We see mandatory reporting to the SEC on raw material sourcing as a much needed step for highlighting risks in the most vulnerable area of a company's supply chain," said Lauren Compere, Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management, LLC.
Several of the investor group's prior recommendations to the SEC were included in the final rule, such as mandating that the Conflict Mineral Reports be "filed" with the SEC. Letters are available at www.sourcingnetwork.org/sec, including the list of 82 supporting investors.
"Although we are pleased this unprecedented rule has finally been issued and now has the potential to drive transparency and accountability in product supply chains, the rule falls short in the timing of implementation and depth of reporting," said Patricia Jurewicz, Director of the Responsible Sourcing Network.
"The rule will give investors consistent disclosures they deserve when making investment decisions," said Susan Baker, Manager of Advocacy at Trillium Asset Management. "We've already seen some companies take meaningful steps to trace their supply chains, but due to the 'phase in' investors will have to press companies for continuous and rapid improvement in addressing these human rights risks."
Investors were disappointed that companies were given two to four years to uncover the origin of their "indeterminate" minerals, particularly since there is no audit required during this time.
Bennett Freeman, SVP for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments stated, "While the disclosure provided by the rule is not as extensive as we had hoped, nonetheless investors will now be able to assess one of the most critical human right-related risks they face in the world."
About the Organizations:
Boston Common Asset Management - http://www.bostoncommonasset.com/
Calvert Investments - http://www.calvert.com/
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility - http://www.iccr.org/
Responsible Sourcing Network – http://www.sourcingnetwork.org
Trillium Asset Management, LLC – http://www.trilliuminvest.com/
US SIF - http://www.ussif.org
SOURCE Boston Common Asset Management