Investors Support Conflict Minerals Rule

Highlight importance of human rights reporting one year before disclosures to the SEC

Boston, MA  (Profitable.com)  Investors representing $458.67 billion of assets under management released a statement (bit.ly/13Za1jc) expressing their support for the “Conflict Minerals” final rule, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The statement comes exactly one year before companies will have to send the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) their first Conflict Minerals Reports.

Issued by the SEC last August, rule 1502 details how corporations must report on their use of conflict minerals from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a violent conflict has been raging for over 14 years, claiming more than five million lives. The four conflict minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold – are used in large quantities in electronics, jewelry, automobiles, and many other manufactured products.

The statement expresses disagreement from 56 sustainable, socially responsible, and faith-based investment groups to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable. These investors commend the SEC commissioners and staff for appropriately considering the costs and benefits involved with its implementation before finalizing and passing this rule.

“After conducting hundreds of meetings and reviewing thousands of documents, we are pleased the SEC issued a rule that is practical in its implementation yet requires an appropriate level of transparency and accountability to help cut off mineral revenues from the armed groups in the Congo,” said Patricia Jurewicz , Director of the Responsible Sourcing Network.

The statement outlines the importance of protecting investors through improved public disclosure and reporting on social risk factors such as abusive labor practices and human rights impacts. Requiring disclosure of information from a company’s supply chain allows investors to make company-to-company comparisons and calculate the level of risk associated with conflict mineral sourcing.

“The legislation highlights a material issue for investors, which is beneficial since it promotes transparency in the most vulnerable areas of a company’s supply chain.  We also believe that any stay in implementing this unprecedented legislation would hinder a much needed leverage point to address a main driver of the ongoing violence in the DRC,” said Lauren Compere , Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management, LLC.