Yesterday, global sustainable and responsible investors and investment organisations representing more than €855 billion in assets under management sent a joint statement to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council. The statement urges EU policy makers to ensure more compatibility between the proposed EU conflict minerals regulation and Section 1502 of the US Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (known informally as “Dodd-Frank Section 1502”), which aims to prevent mineral sourcing revenues from fuelling the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The statement was initiated by a working group composed of Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert Investments, Eurosif, Responsible Sourcing Network, Trillium Asset Management, Triodos Investment Management, and US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and has been signed by other organisations.
As the new European Commission will be inaugurated in the coming weeks and the European Parliament is scheduled to discuss the proposed regulation in December 2014, the statement signatories are expressing their concern about human rights risks related to mineral sourcing and their views on how regulation can help to limit this risk. To reinforce positive developments following the U.S. rules and to maximize effectiveness, the proposed EU regulation requires two key changes. In their statement, investors call on the European legislative bodies to better align the proposed EU regulation with Section 1502, by making the regulation mandatory and including in its scope all companies that manufacture products containing “conflict minerals.”
The investor group urges the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council to adapt the EU legislation to better fit with the precedent set by the U.S. rules to promote companies’ broad adoption of robust conflict minerals due diligence and reporting.