LG Electronics has a policy that conflict minerals contained in our products shall not be derived from sources that finance or benefit armed groups in the DRC or adjoining countries.
LG Electronics expects our suppliers to have in place policies and due-diligence measures to facilitate the sourcing of minerals that are “DRC conflict free”.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a Central African country with vast mineral wealth, including reserves of cassiterite (tin), columbite-tantalite (tantalum), wolframite (tungsten) and gold. For many years, armed groups have fought to control mines within the DRC and have benefited financially from the proceeds of mineral trade; those armed groups have been cited for committing violent crimes against locals and perpetrating human rights abuses. As a result, these minerals are also known as “conflict minerals1)”.
The metals tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold are used in manufactured goods across many industries, including the aerospace, appliances, automotive, electronics, jewelry, medical and tool & die industries. In an effort to address the humanitarian crisis associated with conflict minerals, the United States (U.S.) enacted legislation requiring that U.S. companies report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on their use of conflict minerals sourced from the DRC and surrounding region2). Several other governments are considering initiatives to address conflict minerals.
Respect for human rights and the environment are core commitments of LG Electronics (LGE) as a responsible corporate citizen. We are particularly concerned about the human rights abuses that may be associated with extracting, trading, handling and exporting minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) and adjoining countries. It is LGE’s policy that tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) contained in our products shall not be derived from sources that finance or benefit armed groups in the DRC or adjoining countries. In addition to conflict minerals management, LGE has established responsible mineral sourcing practices for cobalt in response to reports of child labor and other social issues.
LGE is committed to adopting, widely disseminating and incorporating principles in support of these goals in contracts, agreements and/or communications with suppliers. LGE expects our suppliers to have in place policies and due-diligence measures to facilitate the sourcing of minerals that are “DRC conflict free.3)” In addition, LGE requires our suppliers to comply with LGE’s Supplier Code of Conduct, based on the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct, which sets forth LGE’s broader standards for suppliers and includes provisions relating to human rights, ethical conduct, and environmental protection as well as additional provisions relating to conflict minerals.
In 2010, LG Electronics joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA, formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) to align its Corporate Social Responsibility framework to industry standards established by the RBA’s Code of Conduct and to continue to improve the company’s performance in key areas of social, environmental and ethical issues.
LG Electronics is also a corporate member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), an initiative of the RBA to support the sourcing of conflict free minerals. The RMI provides its members with the most up to date information on conflict-free smelters and refiners, tools for conducting due diligence, and offers a forum for exchanging best practices to address conflict-mineral, as well as broader responsible mineral sourcing issues.
The RMI also operates the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP), a program that uses third party independent auditors to validate that participating smelters and refiners have adequate policies and due diligence processes in place to trace the origin of the minerals that they process and assess whether they were obtained from conflict free sources. This program enables downstream companies, like LG Electronics, to more confidently source conflict free minerals and promote cross industry efforts to drive a conflict free global supply chain in the DRC and adjoining countries
In addition to programs that focus on conflict affected regions, LGE is also engaged with initiatives to better understand emerging challenges in responsible minerals sourcing – such as cobalt, tin and mica – and the ways that the industry can have a positive impact on more sustainable forms of mining to respect human rights and mitigate environmental impacts. For example, LGE was an early collaborator to better understand challenges around cobalt mining and child labor, working with our major battery supplier to contribute sourcing information for the RMI’s initiative to establish the first traceability tool and RMAP audit protocol for cobalt refiners. We provided materials usage data as part of an effort to better understand the role that different industries play as a consumer of mica and its derivatives. And, LGE is in its sixth year as a supporter of sustainable tin mining efforts in Banka-Belitung, Indonesia, working with a multi-stakeholder group co-funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) to launch pilot projects aimed at land reclamation for alternative livelihoods and occupational safety training programs for mine workers.
Further expanding our outreach, LG Electronics joined the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Mineral Trade (PPA) in 2018 to further collaborate with key stakeholders in the U.S. government and non-profit community to support in-region sustainable solutions for conflict-free supply chains.