PCB trade group teams for responsible responsible minerals

October 07, 2019 //By Julien Happich
Minerals
Printed circuit board trade association IPC has joined the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) to help its members navigate the complex challenge of responsible minerals sourcing.

The EPRM is a multi-stakeholder partnership aiming to break the links between minerals extraction, conflict, and human rights violations and to increase the proportion of responsibly produced minerals in war-torn regions such central Africa and Colombia. The organization builds partnerships and shares knowledge about due diligence regarding four minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold – which are used in many electronic components in key sectors such as automobiles, health care, ICT, aerospace and defence.

The group is especially focused on assisting small- and medium-sized enterprises with their due diligence requirements.

The EPRM is preparing to launch an initiative in November called “Due Diligence Ready,” through which companies will be able to access information, tools, and training materials to prepare for a new EU regulation that is coming into effect on January 1, 2021.

IPC has been involved in the conflict minerals dialogue for years, representing electronics manufacturers in meetings and negotiations with policymakers; developing standards and guidance to promote industry compliance; and participating in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as it developed international guidance.

The IPC Conflict Minerals Data Exchange standard is currently undergoing revisions to incorporate the OECD’s guidance, with a revised version expected in early 2020.

“IPC and its members deplore the violence and human rights abuses that are related to minerals extraction in some parts of the world, and we want to be part of the solution,” said Chris Mitchell, IPC’s vice president of global government relations.


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