The EPRM Knowledge Portal

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Your Comprehensive Resource Centre for Mineral Supply Chain Due Diligence

 

On this site, the EPRM brings you a wealth of resources for your company’s supply chain due diligence for minerals and metals. We show you the tools and resources you need to power your company’s responsible sourcing programme.

 

What does the EPRM Knowledge Portal hold?

The EPRM Knowledge Portal links you to a wide range of freely-available tools and guidance documents for due diligence. Developed by a variety of organisations, these can help companies to source minerals and metals responsibly in line with OECD due diligence guidance (what’s this? See below).

The Portal also includes case studies of companies that have implemented due diligence practices within their supply chains. These case studies can help drive your own organisation’s efforts, with practical tips and inspiring testimonies.

On top, the EPRM Knowledge Portal is an evolving platform. A second release that features much more content, and which can be customised by companies to bring up the most relevant resources for them individually, will be rolled out in 2020.

 

Who can use the EPRM Knowledge Portal?

The EPRM Knowledge Portal is a free resource that can be used by any company with minerals and metals in their supply chains, but it’s intended to be most useful for small and medium-sized enterprises, that don’t have the in-house tools and resources of larger companies.

By connecting companies to resources in a straightforward and accessible way, the EPRM Knowledge Portal helps smaller organisations to maximise their efforts toward their responsible sourcing goals. 

 

How can the EPRM Knowledge portal help me with my suppliers?

You may be grappling with how to get your supply chain due diligence up and running – grappling with suppliers who perhaps don’t understand the need for it, or don’t know how to provide the right information for it. The EPRM Knowledge Portal can help with that, because it lays out the best tools available on the web for you to share with your suppliers, so that they can give you the information necessary to make your own due diligence efforts as solid as they can be.

 

How did the EPRM Knowledge Portal come about?

EU law is changing. Soon, importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold will have to conduct due diligence on the materials they source. Public expectations for due diligence on other materials is rising, too. 

Finding information about developing responsible supply chains – and identifying the tools needed to implement change – can be a challenge.

Small companies can be heavy hitters in their sectors, and we want them to have the tools they need to keep pace with the big players on responsible sourcing, too.

Run by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM), a multi-stakeholder group that promotes responsible mining practices in conflict-affected and high-risk areas around the world, the Portal presents a wide range of tools and resources that small and medium enterprises can use to drive forward their due diligence efforts.

 

Why is supply chain due diligence important?

Conducting supply chain due diligence is rapidly becoming an expected industry norm, particularly in sectors – jewellery, automotive, electronics, appliance and construction – that rely on mined materials.

Supply chain due diligence may also be a legal requirement, for some. In recent years both the European Union and the United States have passed legislation that requires companies sourcing tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold – all minerals associated with conflict and human rights abuses in some areas of the world – to examine their supply chains and mitigate the risks they find.  The US law is already in force and the EU law is coming in on January 1st 2021.

France’s Corporate Duty of Vigilance law, the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act, and California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act all incorporate due diligence requirements. The China Chamber of Commerce of Metals Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters publishes voluntary due diligence guidelines for Chinese companies. And, soon, companies that wish to list brands on the London Metal Exchange will be required to conduct supply chain due diligence too.

Whether or not your company is legally obliged to conduct supply chain due diligence, and whether or not it faces stakeholder pressure to do so, many companies feel that responsible sourcing - in a globalised world where poverty, inequality and conflict persist - is simply the right thing to do.

 

What’s the best approach to due diligence?

There is general consensus among policy-makers about the best approach to supply chain due diligence, and this is laid out in guidance documents­ published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas pinpoints five steps in the due diligence process:

  1. Establish strong company management systems
  2. Identify and assess risks in the supply chain
  3. Design and implement a strategy to respond to identified risks
  4. Carry out independent third-party audits of smelter/refiner due diligence practices
  5. Report annually on supply chain due diligence

In this Portal you’ll find tools for each of these five steps and we flag up which step each tool applies to, helping you to implement this stepwise process effectively and efficiently.