Monday, January 10, 2011

How the Dodd-Frank Bill will make sure there are no conflict minerals in Apple's iPad?

That's a question I'm asking myself since the Dodd-Frank Bill Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law last July, as it included a provision that was specifically addressing conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which might be used in the manufacturing process of the iPad (as well as other e-readers and tablet computers).

The bill, as Laura Heaton explained last July on, "includes a provision requiring U.S. companies that import products containing certain minerals to file an annual report declaring whether they source their minerals from Congo or one of the nine surrounding countries, since much of Congo’s mineral wealth is smuggled out of the region through its neighbors. If a company declares that its supply chain passes through the region, it will have to report what steps it is taking to trace the origin of the minerals and ensure that its purchases don’t fund armed groups responsible for atrocities in eastern Congo."

I'm still trying to figure out how companies like Apple address the new provision so I was happy to learn that IHS and GreenBiz Group will have a free webcast that about this issue on Janurary 20. Spekaers include Rory King, Director, Global Product Marketing, IHS , Andrew K. Reese, Editor, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, Scott Wilson, Content Solution Strategist, IHS, and it will be moderated by John Davies, VP, Senior Analyst, GreenBiz Group .

Here are some more details on the webcast from its webpage:

Almost overnight, deeply entrenched high tech industry experts and the general public alike, were startled by the inclusion of "conflict minerals" being signed into law within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The six-page legislative provisions signed on July 21, 2010 will have a direct impact on the supply chain, especially consumer electronics companies square in its cross-hairs. Gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten are among materials subject to regulatory requirements that seek to limit or eliminate materials that support parties linked with human rights abuses and funding armed groups in or near the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The most immediately affected are publicly traded companies, most notably in the high tech sector, who are subject to pending SEC reporting requirements. However, the question remains: Will a conflict minerals movement sink enough teeth into the supply chain to fundamentally change price, availability and supplier selection for these metals and subsequently blind-side adjacent supply chains and all regions around the globe? Find out.

IHS and GreenBiz Group on this live webcast as they unveil the results of an exclusive survey that gauged awareness, sentiment, concern, and preparedness of the supply chain in response to conflict minerals traceability and accountability. They will share findings from the study and share practitioner insight as to such questions as:
  • What is this Conflict Minerals law and what are the conflict metals?
  • Where are these materials used throughout the supply chain?
  • How prepared are companies and their suppliers to trace this information today?
  • What are the most current global conflict mineral concerns?
  • What are the current best practices in environmental compliance?
You can sign for it here.

You can learn more on conflict minerals on this video:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting Sustainable Reading!