Responsible management of raw materials in our supply chain includes the important issue of conflict minerals.
Focus on increasing transparency
There are several tiers of suppliers between Ericsson and the mines and also between Ericsson and the smelters and refiners; hence we do not have any direct purchasing relationship with mines and smelters. We believe that collaboration with our direct suppliers and industry peers is vital in improving the business practices in the mineral supply chain.
We have actively chosen not to ban any minerals from the DRC or other conflict-affected regions as an embargo can result in severe negative consequences for the most vulnerable groups. Instead we work to manage raw materials in the supply chain together with our suppliers to increase the transparency by identifying smelters and refiners in our supply chain as an important first step for improvements in the supply chain.
We support the tools and system developed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). RMI has developed a certification scheme, the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP), enabling smelters to become certified as conflict-free. This means companies can source metals from smelters and refiners certified as conflict free. Ericsson does not source metals from smelters and refiners directly.
We are working to find a viable solution to the issue of conflict minerals to ensure responsible and conflict-free sourcing through legitimate trade and positive development in the affected regions.
Three basic elements of our approach are as follows:
- Our suppliers shall establish due diligence processes consistent with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas;
- The due diligence shall make it possible to reasonably verify whether conflict minerals originate in the DRC or an adjoining country;
- Suppliers shall identify smelters in their supply chain through the latest version of the RMI Conflict Minerals Reporting Template and are recommended to use conflict- free smelters when possible. In addition, we work to build capacity among our suppliers through a freely available training and via the feedback and follow-up within the specific conflict minerals program. We also encourage our suppliers to contact smelters that are not yet validated as conflict-free to join the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) undergo the Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP). In 2016, 94% of the smelters identified among the supplier responses collected were conflict-free validated or active in the validation process.
Ericsson is directly affected by the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act on conflict minerals. In 2016 we continued to work towards the annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.