Study – “Assessing & Enhancing the Contribution of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises to Due Diligence for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains”

BGR Survey logo for websiteThe German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) with the support of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has initiated an important new study titled: “Assessing & Enhancing the Contribution of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises to Due Diligence for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains”. The background to this study is the growing importance of due diligence in “conflict minerals” supply chains (gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum), and the anticipated challenges facing SMEs in the automotive, electronics/ICT, medical technology and jewellery industries in fulfilling due diligence recommendations and requests.

The objectives of this study are fourfold. It will:

  1. Ascertain how “conflict minerals” due diligence is implemented by SMEs today, and why it is sometimes eschewed by these companies;
  2. Determine the common challenges and successes experienced by SMEs in performing due diligence;
  3. Draft recommendations for SMEs on implementing due diligence, and present best practice examples to encourage and inform the broader implementation of due diligence by this sector;
  4. Encourage governments, international organisations and industry partners to initiate supportive action for SMEs in their conflict minerals due diligence, and inform the ultimate content of this support.

If you are a company in the automotive, electronics/ICT, medical technology or jewelry industry that meets the definition of a small or medium-scale enterprise (<250 employees and <€50 million annual turnover), please click here to participate in the study’s confidential survey of “conflict mineral” due diligence activities in SMEs. This survey is also available in German, French and Mandarin, and will take between 10-35 minutes to complete, depending on your answers. You can also elect to participate in a follow-up interview to further discuss due diligence activities in your company. The survey will remain open until the 10th of April 2015.

If you are an industry association or large-scale company in one or more of the above mentioned industries, please disseminate this study to the SMEs in your membership groups or supply chains using the ‘SME email template’ in this shared folder, which is available in English, German, French and Mandarin. If you would also like to participate in a 30-minute interview on the issue of “conflict minerals” due diligence, please email the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Yolande Kyngdon-McKay of Estelle Levin Ltd. before the 24th of April to schedule a time:

The information collected in this study will be used to inform the development of targeted policy and programs to assist SMEs in their implementation of “conflict minerals” due diligence, which will ultimately benefit all stakeholders in mineral supply chains.


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