IPC: Unconflicted about Scrap Material Disclosure

As detailed in IPC’s* March 2, 2011, comments in response to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed rule on Conflict Minerals, IPC has a clear, unconflicted stance on conflict minerals and disclosure requirements.

Recently the issue of whether scrap and recycled materials need to have Conflict Minerals Reports have resurfaced. And with some form of conflict minerals legislation likely to be approved by end of the third quarter this year, new seems a good time to profile IPC’s position on same.

IPC maintains that recycled or scrap sources should not be required to furnish a Conflict Minerals Report, including a certified independent private sector audit.  

IPC maintains that the SEC)final rule should include an alternative approach for recycled or scrap sources that is “practicable and does not overly burden recycled materials so as to discourage their use.”

Given other government efforts to encourage recycling in electronics and other industries it’s imperative that the SEC does not diminish these efforts by adding significant disclosure or regulatory burdens to the use of recycled or reclaimed conflict minerals, IPC said in supplemental comments in response to the SEC proposed rule on Conflict Minerals (S7-40-10) and the panel discussion held on October 18, 2011.

“An issuer using a recycled material containing conflict minerals will not be able to provide any of the details required in a Conflict Minerals Report. The traceability of the reclaimed metals is [challenging] to track due to the various forms of recycling and thousands of consolidators, reclaimers, and scrap dealers both foreign and domestic. Instead, issuers should have a reasonable basis for believing the material is recycled and maintain auditable records to support the determination. IPC believes that due diligence is the appropriate requirement for verifying recycled or reclaimed conflict minerals.

We believe recycled conflict minerals should have parity with conflict minerals originating from a conflict-free mine so as to encourage manufacturers to use recycled  and scrap materials, to reduce the demand for minerals that would support armed groups in the DRC and adjoining countries, and to maintain a fair market for metals and minerals.”

All this could be accomplished, IPC believes, by providing that — after a manufacturer conducts a reasonable inquiry into the source of its conflict minerals — no further action is required if either:

1.  the minerals were determined to originate not from the DRC or adjoining countries, or

2.  the minerals originated from a scrap or recycled source

> Read how the final conflict material disclosure law (Dodd-Frank) is expected this summer (2012).

> Read more about IPC’s position on conflict minerals online.

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About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.