The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released draft conflict minerals reporting rules in December 2010 that have significant implications for a range of corporate sustainability issues—from supply chain monitoring and transparency to integrated reporting and responsible investing. In the short term, however, many people are simply focused on understanding and commenting on these rules, which are open for comment until the end of January 2011.

A wide range of companies and industries are affected by these rules, and BSR has developed an issue brief to help companies understand whether they may have to respond. Additionally, companies can learn more about the underlying issues and avenues for action in BSR’s background report on conflict minerals.

The multi-stakeholder group that drafted the conflict minerals reporting recommendations to the SEC last year—with BSR’s support—is reviewing the draft rules and developing a targeted comment based on the original recommendations. If you would like to see these recommendations and consider signing on to them, please contact Marshall Chase at BSR.

We are interested in hearing more about how companies are preparing for these rules. Are you working with suppliers and discussing these issues with your customers? How are you addressing related slavery and other human rights issues not directly addressed by the SEC rules? Will you be ready to declare any of your products "DRC Conflict Mineral Free"?

We are also preparing to run a Sustainability Matters webinar for BSR members focused on conflict minerals, and would like to hear from you on what specific topics you would like to discuss at this event. Again, please send your thoughts to Marshall Chase.