In 2012, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules to implement reporting and disclosure requirements concerning Conflict Minerals as required by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”). Under the Dodd Frank rules, publicly traded companies must report annually on their use of Conflict Minerals.
The conflict minerals rules require public companies that manufacture or contract to manufacture products that contain “conflict minerals” to disclose certain information annually about their use and origin of “conflict minerals” originating in the “Covered Countries” if the conflict minerals contained in such products are necessary to the functionality or production of those products. The “conflict minerals” are gold, columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, and wolframite (including their derivatives, tantalum, tin and tungsten). The “Covered Countries” are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola. The Conflict Minerals reporting and disclosure requirements were enacted because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by armed groups is helping to finance conflict in the DRC region and is contributing to an emergency humanitarian crisis.
Consistent with Ashland’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability:
- Ashland intends to work to improve the due diligence conducted to obtain more current, completed and reliable information from all applicable suppliers about the source and chain of custody of conflict minerals.
- In 2014, Ashland published its Supplier Code of Conduct, which included a section on the sourcing of conflict minerals. The Supplier Code of Conduct has been distributed to Ashland’s supplier base and suppliers are expected to provide evidence of conformity to the Code.
- Ashland will continue to engage with its direct suppliers and encourage them to obtain responses from their suppliers in order to provide detailed information needed to comply with the SEC reporting requirements.
Suppliers who are not able to provide adequate information about the source of any conflict minerals shall be evaluated by Ashland for non-conformity and Ashland reserves the right to terminate the business relationship and any existing contracts.
To learn more information, read Ashland’s Conflict Minerals report at: http://investor.ashland.com/sec.cfm