Schneider Electric is committed to support all the efforts of human rights organizations around the world. It is believed that mining and trade of ‘Conflict Minerals’ help finance armed groups responsible for committing human rights abuses in many parts of the world.
On August 22, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved the Final Rule regarding sourcing of Conflict Minerals under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“the Dodd-Frank Act”). Conflict Minerals currently are Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten, Gold and/or their derivatives. The rule enforces reporting requirements on publicly traded companies subject to the SEC to annually disclose the occurrence of Conflict Minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”) or surrounding countries in the products they manufacture or contract to manufacture whereby the Conflict Minerals are necessary to the functionality or production of a product.
Similarly, Regulation 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017, which outlines the supply chain due diligence obligations for importers of Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten, their ores and Gold originating from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (Conflict Minerals Regulation) was published in the Official Journal on 19 May 2017. The regulation requires importers to report due diligence activities and the origins of the minerals they use in their product manufacturing.
As a rule, we refuse to use any products, or raw materials, which either directly or indirectly, fund these groups. As part of this commitment, we have implemented an on-going policy to buy from responsible, trusted sources, to take reasonable steps to understand supply chains, and when necessary, influence suppliers towards responsible sourcing, and to not contract with suppliers identified to be sourcing from or relating to people violating fundamental human rights.
Some Schneider Electric products require lithium-ion batteries that contain Cobalt. DRC is the world’s largest producer of Cobalt and holds more than 50 % of the global Cobalt reserves. Multiple reports have highlighted concerns over social and environmental impacts of Cobalt extraction, including child labor and unsafe working conditions in artisanal cobalt mining. While there isn’t any current legislation that governs Cobalt reporting, Schneider Electric is adding Cobalt to the list of Conflict Minerals actively addressed by our on-going policy to achieve Conflict-Free status for raw materials purchased.
Schneider Electric has adopted standards in line with the RMI and OECD Standard of Diligence, regarding our process to obtain chain of custody declarations from all relevant suppliers ensuring transparency in our supply chain. In addition:
- Schneider Electric expects its suppliers to source materials from socially responsible suppliers.
- Schneider Electric is requesting its suppliers to follow the Code of Conduct available on our website.
- Schneider Electric expects all of its suppliers to comply with our procurement Terms and Conditions which require suppliers to disclose any Conflict Minerals and their countries of origin, in accordance with the requirements of the US Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and/or any other legislation with the same purpose.
- Schneider Electric expects its suppliers to follow the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidelines.
- Schneider Electric expects its suppliers to exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of these minerals and make their due diligence measures available to us upon request.
- Schneider Electric expects its suppliers to take actions to reduce risk within their networks by sourcing these minerals through ConflictFree supply chains.
- Suppliers must pass this requirement through their own supply chain and determine the source of specified minerals.
- Suppliers who fail to source from socially responsible suppliers shall be reviewed by our Procurement Organization for future business.
Schneider Electric is a leader in energy management and sustainability and has long maintained a commitment to corporate social responsibility. Our approach to Conflict Minerals and Cobalt sourcing is no different, as we have implemented the necessary processes and controls to ensure a safe, sustainable and competitive material supply for our customers, following strong ethical, social and environmental principles.
To know more:
Principles of responsibility
Conflict minerals statement >
Schneider Chief Procurement Officier’s letter >