Program Can Help Companies Streamline Audits and Comply with EU Directive on Conflict Minerals
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 30, 2016 – The Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), a coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving the security and human rights conditions in their raw materials supply chains, today announced its Downstream Audit is now available to companies within the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) supply chains that are downstream of smelters and refiners and are not eligible to participate in the Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP).
The CFSI Downstream Audit provides a mechanism for companies to obtain independent validation of responsible sourcing practices in alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The audit reduces the need for 3TG suppliers to undergo multiple audits by different customers each year to respond to requests for independent assurance. This is a voluntary, market-driven program that was developed in response to multiple requests for a centralized platform to provide an assurance mechanism for downstream companies.
“The CFSI Downstream Audit is specifically designed to help 3TG processors, traders and manufacturers source responsibly,” said CFSI Program Director Leah Butler. “It has particular relevance for companies importing 3TG-containing products into the EU in light of the forthcoming EU Directive on Conflict Minerals, which will require mandatory due diligence for importers of minerals and metals of 3TG.”
The program was developed through a collaborative process between interested stakeholders from the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.), and audit and advisory group RCS Global. The program recently completed its pilot phase, which began in April 2016. Six companies are currently participating in the program and are listed on the online public registry.
“CFSI’s Downstream Audit is an important tool in assisting organizations to demonstrate that their sourcing practices are aligned with OECD Due Diligence Guidance,” said Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) Director Roland Chavasse.
“This audit is aligned with the highest level of global standards but, crucially, it also consolidates responsible sourcing reporting requirements within the downstream,” said RCS Global Director Michèle Brülhart. “This means companies can streamline audits as they may no longer need to commission and/or undergo multiple audits each year.”
RCS Global is delivering auditing services under the program and the program is available to other auditing firms as well. Please see the CFSI Guidance Note for more details about the program and key benefits.
CFSI and RCS Global will hold a webinar on Dec. 8, 2016 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to provide an overview of the audit, including a general Q&A session. To join the webinar or for general inquiries about the program, contact Hillary Amster, CFSI Audit Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an audit or to have a pre-audit conversation, contact Michèle Brülhart, Head of Global Audit Practice at RCS Global, at email@example.com.
The CFSI is a multi-industry initiative with over 340 member companies, including associations and service providers. Our members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources including the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data, and a range of guidance documents on responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (3TG). The CFSI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with leading civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit http://www.conflictfreesourcing.org.
About RCS Global
RCS Global is one of the world’s leading responsible raw materials supply chain audit and advisory groups. We empower upstream, midstream and downstream operators to demonstrate the highest standards of responsible supply chain due diligence and compliance. Together with our clients, we are making industry more ethical, accountable and transparent. Our global audit expertise, experience and capacity spans across the entire raw materials value chain. For more information, visit http://www.rcsglobal.com.
The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) was established in 1973 to support, develop and promote the global tantalum and niobium industries. Today the T.I.C. has around 90 member companies from 25 countries involved with all aspects of the tantalum and niobium industry supply chain, including mining, processing, recycling, metal fabrication, capacitor manufacturing, and medical applications. Central to the T.I.C.’s mission is to increase awareness and promote the remarkable properties of tantalum and niobium in all their forms, disseminate relevant information to stakeholders, and address the major challenges facing its members. For more information, visit http://www.tanb.org.
Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721