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Doing business with integrity and transparency means responsibly sourcing materials and services. ABB is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and protection of people who come into contact with our products and business. We require high social, environmental, and human rights standards among our suppliers. Managing our obligations in relation to Conflict Minerals is a part of this corporate responsibility.
In partnership with our suppliers, we are committed to using in our products tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold which has been legally and ethically sourced.
ABB’s efforts to source minerals responsibly are reinforced by the ABB Policy on Conflict Minerals and our continued collaboration with the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), which works to encourage smelters and refiners to undergo audits aligned with OECD guidelines.
ABB’s engagement doesn’t stop at investigating the sources of tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold. We continue to support responsible mineral sourcing and industry initiatives. That’s why ABB has initiated the Cobalt Engagement Program for our suppliers and will, over time, include in the program more minerals that pose potential social and environmental risks.
ABB is committed to:
• identifying which ABB products are impacted and targeting our efforts accordingly;
• not buying products and materials containing “conflict minerals” directly from conflict mines (from conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRAs) and the covered countries) ;
• working with our suppliers to ensure that any conflict minerals contained in the products and materials supplied to ABB originate from conflict-free sources;
• contributing to conflict-free trade by encouraging our suppliers not to discriminate against legitimate sources of conflict minerals; and
• increasing our impact by continuously evaluating our Responsible Minerals Sourcing program and extend-ing it with additional minerals.
In addition, we are committed to engaging with our customers regarding their disclosure obligations.
Watch this video on the importance of conflict minerals and what we expect from our suppliers.
Strict legal frameworks have been put in place around the world to regulate the use of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold: a group of elements that are collectively known as “3TG” or “conflict minerals.” The European Commission has singled out T3 minerals [A1] [A2] (Tin, Tantalum & Tungsten) as those which are most likely to be associated with armed conflict in high-risk countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are present in welding wire, capacitors, electronic contacts, and the coatings of electrical connections – all of which are used in many of our products.
The eastern portion of the DRC has long been the site of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises – and the conflict there continues. Revenue from the illegal mining and trading of the DRC’s natural resources has been exploited to fund armed conflict – to which serious human rights abuses are linked – and to mines for certain ores, now known as conflict minerals.
Under the Dodd–Frank Act in the United States, the following minerals and their derivatives are defined as conflict minerals (the 3TG):
1. Columbite-tantalite (Coltan), refined into tantalum (Ta)
2. Cassiterite, refined into tin (Sn)
3. Wolframite, refined into tungsten (W)
4. Gold (Au)
In August 2012, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its final rules regarding conflict minerals (tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold) as defined in and required by section 1502 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. As a result, many companies are now investigating whether and to what extent their products contain conflict minerals and whether such conflict minerals come from the DRC and the adjacent countries named in the Act.
For more information on the Dodd–Frank Act Final Rule and Summary, follow the links below:
On January 1, 2021, a new law went into force across the EU: the Conflict Minerals Regulation.
It aims to help stem the trade in four minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold – which sometimes finance armed conflict or are mined using forced labor.
For further information, please refer the regulation explained in the European Commission Conflict Minerals page.
For Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (CAHRAs) under Regulation (EU) 2017/821, please refer the following project website.
In working towards these commitments, we have taken a number of steps:
ABB is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and protection of people who come into contact with our products and business, and we require high social, environmental, and human rights standards among our suppliers. As part of ABB’s commitment and as conveyed in ABB’s Policy on Conflict Minerals, we have established management sys-tems to understand where minerals are sourced, to exclude minerals sourced from conflict zones and to comply with reporting obligations. In order to do so, we have defined a set of requirements for our suppliers. In particular, suppliers are required to:
Our suppliers’ compliance with these requirements will be a key factor in our future sourcing decisions. All suppliers to ABB will be asked to join efforts to identify whether conflict minerals are used or supplied to ABB and, if so, to identify the country of origin.
To understand ABB’s requirements, suppliers are strongly encouraged to review the following material:
For detailed guidance on how to complete the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT), you can also refer to the RMI guide on the RMI website/CMRT/Training.