Honda, Ford spearhead new conflict minerals reporting tool

Editor's Note: The iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform is the most recent tool released that enables companies to trace their supply chain. Come back next week for an article from the Responsible Sourcing Network that will provide an overview of the range of systems and tools available for conflict mineral reporting.

Managing a web of suppliers isn’t easy. Now companies have an added responsibility: collecting reports from said suppliers on whether they use conflict minerals from war-stricken parts of Africa in their products.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission passed a ruling in August requiring public companies to examine their supply chains and disclose if their products use tin, tungsten, tantalum or gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo, minerals that are said to fuel the conflict in the Central African nation.

But tracing hundreds – and in some cases thousands – of suppliers can be a daunting task.

A new web-based tool developed in collaboration with leading automakers aims to simplify the process. The iPoint Conflict Minerals Platform (iPCMP), launched by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in partnership with product sustainability experts at iPoint, will help suppliers in all industries identify whether their products contain conflict minerals.

More than two dozen auto companies, including Honda, Ford and the Chrysler Group, worked since last year to develop the tool, which enables businesses to publish their conflict mineral status and helps them create reports that adhere to governmental requirements.

Many suppliers lack the resources to adequately examine their supply chains, said Tanya Bolden, AIAG’s corporate responsibility program development manager.

“The goal throughout this has been to make this process as simple as possible for the various suppliers in our supply chain to engage,” Bolden said. “We fully realize that many of the suppliers don’t have the resources that a tier-1 may have.”

Photo of gold link in chain provided by billdayone via Shutterstock

Next page: Potential to simplify, automate reports from multiple suppliers