Due Diligence Ready!, new online portal from the Europe Commission to support responsible companies
The Commission has presented Due Diligence Ready!, an online portal that will provide companies with guidance on how to verify the origin of metals and minerals that enter their supply chains - the so called “due diligence” process. It will help them ensure that their use of raw materials is a respectful use of human rights while improving transparency and accountability throughout their value chains.
This portal has been developed with the participation of ZABALA Innovation Consulting, as a result of a tender won with DG GROWTH, the Directorate General of the European Commission responsible for EU policy on the single market, industry, entrepreneurship and small business.
ZABALA, in the development of Due Diligence Ready!
Zabala participated specifically in the development of the Due Diligence Ready! and also facilitated the creation of networks to inform the European Commission about the needs of European SMEs in due diligence processes. The objective has been to help companies improve their due diligence capacity for the sourcing of minerals, to facilitate compliance with the EU Regulation on responsible sourcing of minerals and to respond to the growing demand of the responsible minerals market. Thus, ZABALA facilitated the creation of specific networks in France and Spain as the main target countries for this action, and helped to establish relationships and open communication channels between SMEs in these countries and the European Commission. From the commitment to these networks, the EC will be informed about the needs of SMEs regarding the due diligence of the supply chain and compliance with the Regulation, and it will also become a method for sharing information on the Regulation and the benefits of due diligence.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, head of the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Today, market demand for responsibly sourced raw materials is growing. These materials are essential to new business sectors and clean technologies like high-power batteries, and businesses should ensure that each step in the value chain is carried out in a transparent, responsible and sustainable way. I welcome the launch of Due Diligence Ready! which will help businesses make more informed choices.” »
Goals of Due Diligence Ready!
Due Diligence Ready! It will help companies in the following aspects:
- Improve their due diligence capacity of minerals' sourcing: the portal will provide businesses with information and training materials to carry out due diligence. The tool is particularly dedicated to small and medium businesses but all companies with minerals and metals in their supply chains are encouraged to use it.
- Facilitate compliance with the EU's Regulation on Responsible Sourcing of Minerals (the so-called “Conflict minerals Regulation”): the portal will offer guidance on the responsible sourcing of metals and minerals, in particular tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. Such metals and minerals are used in the production of everyday products such as mobile phones, cars and jewelry. The portal will help companies comply with the EU's Regulation on Responsible Sourcing of Minerals, which sets out due diligence requirements for EU importers of these metals and minerals.
- Respond to growing market demand for responsibly sourced minerals: by improving transparency along the value chain, Due Diligence Ready! will help businesses respond to the growing awareness and demand for sustainable products and services, and contribute to positive developments in the minerals and metals sector.
Raw materials, key in Social Innovation
Mineral resources hold great potential for our economy, especially for strategic business areas like batteries, high-performance computing or microelectronics. However, when mined in conflict-affected or high-risk areas, they can add to the continuation of violent clashes, human rights abuses. This has raised concerns among customers, suppliers, regulators, investors, non-governmental organisations and citizens who are increasingly asking companies, including small and medium businesses, to show that the minerals and metals entering their supply chains have not contributed to activities that harm people.
To address these problems, the EU passed the EU's Regulation on Responsible Sourcing of Minerals, also sometimes referred to as the “Conflict minerals Regulation”, in May 2017. These new rules will ensure that minerals used by European industries are sourced responsibly, diverting revenues away from rebel groups, conflict, and terror. The regulation also supports the development of local communities and businesses. The rules will cover up to 95% of imports as of 1 January 2021. In the meantime, the Commission and Member States will work to make sure that the necessary structures are in place to ensure EU-wide implementation
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