Updated September 30, 2015
Clarification on usage of RSN Indicators
Image: Wall Street Journal
Responsible Sourcing Network’s (RSN) reporting efforts were recently mentioned in a Wall Street Journal blog alongside a new study funded by Assent Compliance and designed and executed by Chris Bayer, PhD with assistance from Tulane University researchers. The independent study recognizes RSN’s indicators as the leading guide to assessing conflict minerals reporting “beyond-compliance.” We welcome wider adoption of beyond-compliance practices, as described in RSN’s 2014 Mining the Disclosures report, and congratulate the researchers on the impressive feat of evaluating over 1,200 SEC disclosures.
In response to stakeholders who have voiced confusion about whether RSN participated in this new study and whether its “good practice” score is equivalent to RSN’s own scoring methodology, we would like to clarify that the scores in the study were determined by the researchers without the knowledge or participation of RSN, and RSN does not endorse this study. For disclosures submitted in 2015, a company “good practice” score may differ significantly from RSN’s score for that same company since the researchers did not have access to RSN’s indicator scores, weights, analyst guidance, or our 2015 updates. (Find our 2015 updates in Mining the Disclosures 2015, which contains the only scoring methodology endorsed by Responsible Sourcing Network.)
RSN collaborates with many stakeholders working toward responsible sourcing and we regularly exchange information with NGOs, academics, and companies that request it. We will continue to make the detailed list of RSN’s 2014 indicators publicly available in the interest of transparency and collaboration toward a conflict-free minerals trade. We continue to welcome requests for any use or adaptation of our indicators.
What is unique about RSN’s scoring methodology?
RSN’s proprietary scoring methodology is a comprehensive approach to social reporting, scoring companies across five Measurement Areas. By adopting leading practices into our analysis, RSN encourages action from leading and lagging companies, as well as holding non-filers and minimal filers accountable. Our expectations include compliance indicators but go well beyond the legal requirements of Section 1502 to encourage sourcing conflict-free minerals from the DRC.
With guidance from Sustainalytics and sustainable and responsible investors, RSN has pioneered a new approach to evaluating companies’ social performance. Just as we expect companies to validate, test, and improve their methodologies, we too are continuously improving our methodology. To improve the indicators used in the 2014 Mining the Disclosures report, RSN undertook an extensive company engagement process.
RSN looks forward to introducing our newly improved metrics, as well as rankings for 150 companies chosen from a high exposure and large cap industries matrix, in our upcoming 2015 edition of Mining the Disclosures.
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