From Elm Sustainability Partners:

In our efforts to keep you updated on developments concerning conflict minerals, we send you this short note.

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From Elm Sustainability Partners:

Of all the shiny new objects in ESG/sustainability, “risk” is the shiniest and newest.  ESG is seen as risk management, implying that ESG is more downside than upside (I’ll come back to that).  But here is a big problem with linking ESG to risk: most ESG professionals don’t really understand risk management. 

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From Elm Sustainability Partners

For conflict minerals reporting year 2018, we may see a bigger impact of last year’s SEC announcement that they will not seek enforcement for conflict minerals filings. Perhaps more “devil may care” attitude reflected in reporting. The real question for many companies this year may well be – “Who cares?”

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From Elm Sustainability Partners

Those of you in the middle of (or done with) conflict minerals due diligence have probably noticed a lower-than-normal number of RMI-audited smelters/refiners. It’s not just you – there really are fewer smelters/refiners obtaining or renewing their audits.  READ MORE

From Elm Sustainability Partners

Last month, we joined a TheCorporateCounsel.net webinar, along with Michael Littenberg, Dave Lynn and Christine Robinson discussing the upcoming conflict minerals filing for calendar year 2017. READ MORE

From Elm Sustainability Partners

Development International (DI) has published a new study on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, industry-led due diligence and smelter/refiner (SOR) audit programs. Elm Sustainability Partners is honored to have participated on the study’s Advisory Committee. READ MORE

A Message From Elm Sustainability Partners

With regard to the calendar year 2017 conflict minerals filings, there is still no change from the previous year.  All issuers subject to the disclosure should continue their RCOI, due diligence and Form CD/Conflict Minerals Report processes as in the past.  For more information, tune into TheCorporateCounsel.net for a webinar on February 7.

As 2017 winds down, interest and activity related to the annual SEC conflict minerals filings is heating up. Here is a short reality check for what you should be thinking and doing. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

The deadline for filing the CY2016 SEC conflict minerals disclosure has now passed, although there are likely to be a few late filers. It is too early to glean anything from the filings and at least three analyses will be conducted, including the Development International study, which is the most comprehensive of them. We all anxiously await these reports. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

SEC Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar and the SEC Division of Corporation Finance Staff both issued statements tApril 7, 2017 on the conflict minerals rule in light of the final Court action in NAM v. SEC. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with Senators Sherrod Brown, Robert Menendez and Brian Schatz, submitted a pointed letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General Carl Hoecker asking for an investigation into recent actions taken by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar.  One of the actions Senator Warren wants reviewed is the January 31, 2017 statement from the Acting Chairman directing the staff to reconsider the conflict minerals rule. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim

The new public comment period initiated by SEC Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar is now closed and we have reviewed almost all the submittals.  What is surprising is that there still seems to be significant misunderstanding or interpretations of the rule, and some issuers are spending far more than is likely necessary.   READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim

The conflict minerals disclosure is still required for calendar year 2016. No Executive Order has been issued, nor has SEC eliminated or modified the rule. READ MORE

From Jade West, Senior Vice President-Government Relations
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

If your company has been impacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Conflict Minerals Rule – Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act – you are probably aware that the SEC has invited new comments on this rule.

Specifically, Acting SEC Chairman Michael S. Piwowar released a statement on January 31st questioning the effectiveness of the rule and directing the SEC staff to “reconsider whether the 2014 guidance on the conflict minerals rule is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate.”

To read Chairman Piwowar’s statement and directive to the SEC staff, go to: https://www.sec.gov/corpfin/statement-on-sec-commission-conflict-minerals-rule.html

And go to: https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/reconsideration-of-conflict-minerals-rule-implementation.html

The Acting Chairman has invited comments from stakeholders and interested parties on reconsideration of the rule, and that comment period is open until March 31st.

NAW has filed a comment letter based on feedback we have received from impacted NAW members, and we would encourage you to also file a comment with the commission if you believe the rule should be reconsidered or rescinded.

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Yesterday, several news outlets reported on what was claimed to be a leaked draft Executive Order that would, if signed by President Trump, suspend Dodd-Frank Section 1502 for a two year period. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Acting SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar is “directing the [SEC] staff to consider whether the 2014 guidance is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate in the interim.”  READ MORE

From Ropes and Gray LLP

President Trump and the Republican-majority Congress are expected to seek to roll back at least some aspects of Dodd-Frank. The repeal of the Conflict Minerals Rule is explicitly provided for in the Financial Choice Act, which was introduced in the House during the last term. However, at present, most of the Conflict Minerals Rule remains very much in effect and is likely to remain so for at least the current reporting period, which requires filings in respect of calendar 2016 to be made by May 31, 2017. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

The conflict minerals filing deadline is still in place and realistically we don't anticipate that changing before June 1.

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From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners LLC

The European Parliament announced November 22 what is called “informal deal on a regulation” for the EU conflict minerals scheme. Read More

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Conflict minerals information requests from customers increasingly include cobalt.  While cobalt is not an official conflict mineral, and the basis for the recent public attention is not the funding of armed groups, it is nonetheless being included in conflict minerals CMRT requests.

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