by Cydney Posner

Ernst & Young has prepared an analysis of the first year of conflict minerals reporting, focused on reporting by S&P 500 companies. Even for companies in the S&P 500, the analysis concludes that “tracing the sourcing of conflict minerals was challenging for these large companies.” According to the analysis, almost 70% of the conflict minerals filings were made by companies in the technology, diversified industrial products, consumer products, retail and wholesale, and pharmaceuticals sectors; generally, companies in the airlines, asset management, biotechnology, insurance and real estate sectors appear to have found that the rule did not apply and did not file.

Some of the most interesting findings are set forth below:

  • Although the estimates were that 6,000 companies would be affected and that 4,500 companies that would be required to file conflict minerals reports (CMR), only 1315 companies (through June 6) filed Forms SD.  Of those filers, slightly over 1,000 filed CMRs.
  • Only four companies obtained an independent private sector audit (IPSA) of their CMRs because they identified one or more products as conflict free as a result of due diligence efforts (as opposed to concluding that none of their conflict minerals were sourced from the DRC countries as part of the reasonable country-of-origin inquiry (RCOI), which would not require an IPSA).
  • Of the S&P 500, 213 companies filed Forms SD, and 184 filed a CMR as an exhibit.
  • Country of origin
    • most of the 184 companies were not yet able to determine the origin of the conflict minerals in their products
    • 43% showed sourcing of some portion of the minerals from the DRC countries
  • Conflict-free smelters/refiners
    • of the 184 companies, 47% disclosed sourcing from at least one conflict-free smelter or refiner
    • almost 20% noted that one or more smelters in the DRC countries were conflict-free
    • only 27% provided a list of smelters and refiners
  • Supplier survey and response rates
    • average number of suppliers surveyed was approximately 2,500, but ranged from 5 to almost 40,000 suppliers
    • 52%  of the 184 companies did not disclose their supplier response rates
    • 11% disclosed a rate less than 50%,
    • 9% disclosed a rate greater than 50%
    • 13% greater than 75%
    • only 15%  disclosed a rate greater than 90%
  • Disclosures in CMR
    • 99% identified the OECD due diligence guidance
    • 94% referred to the CFSI reporting template
    • 84% relied in the CFSI conflict-free smelter program
    • 80% disclosed the company’s conflict mineral policy
    • 40% disclosed the number of RCOI suppliers surveyed

Posted by Cydney Posner