Find Out First-hand What the New Conflict Mineral Benchmarking Study Unveils

Find Out First-hand What the New Conflict Mineral Benchmarking Study Unveils

What Does The Conflict Mineral Benchmarking Study Mean?

The most comprehensive conflict mineral benchmarking study ever undertaken has been released. Conducted by Chris Bayer, PhD. of Tulane University, the Conflict Mineral Benchmarking Study analyzed all 1,266 Dodd-Frank Conflict Mineral Disclosures submitted to date for reporting year 2014. Dr. Bayer’s study received input from an expert advisory panel including: Fern Abrams of IPC, Charles A. Ripenhoff Jr. of KPMG, Michael Littenberg of Schulte Roth & Zabel, Jonathan Hughes of Assent Compliance and Lawrence Heim of Elm Sustainability.

The results of this study were obtained using two separate indicators of compliance program success. The study utilized the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) based rules for Conflict Mineral reporting to create a compliance based score using over 50 compliance indicators for each company. This score was juxtaposed against the Responsible Sourcing Network’s Good Practice Indicators to generate a Good Practice score. Both of these scores were then combined to create an overall Blended score which was used to rank each corporation captured.

This study has brought to light the struggle that companies are facing in trying to comply with the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Over 90% of the companies that filed last year were unable to determine if their products were conflict free. The Wall Street Journal article ‘Conflict Minerals’ Prove Hard to Trace was recently published and outlines many of these struggles that companies are undertaking to address the regulation.

Why Are These Results so Important?

The Conflict Mineral Benchmarking Study results will allow organizations to align their compliance program with the must-dos and industry best practices. The clearly defined indicators and scoring criteria will also allow them to easily and objectively identify any gaps in their existing program. Now that the two-year phase-in period has elapsed, this data is invaluable when preparing for a potential audit next year.

Companies can incorporate the findings in their programs now to demonstrate to outside observers that they have properly implemented the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines and are in compliance with the SEC Rule. This mandatory reporting requirement has now become more prevalent in the global media. By not investing the required resources, or the right resources, into ensuring SEC compliance, organizations are at risk of having the spotlight shine on their compliance oversight.

Assent Compliance’s Jonathan Hughes will be co-hosting a webinar on August 11th at 1:00PM EDT with Tulane University’s Chris Bayer, PhD. and Schulte Roth & Zabel’s Michael Littenberg to further discuss the study and its findings. To register for the webinar today and to access the study, please visit: http://www.assentcompliance.com/conflict-mineral-benchmarking-study/.


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