A Platform to Support Responsible Sourcing, Peacebuilding, and Community Development
Solutions for Hope is a platform that supports companies, civil society organizations, and governments working together to responsibly source minerals from regions experiencing conflict where market access is limited by opaque supply chains. The program manages risk for participating companies and offers recognition for participation.
Background and Challenge
Responsible sourcing from conflict-prone regions is challenging, particularly for downstream companies and stakeholders. Yet in many regions responsible development is an essential part of a post-conflict transition strategy. Differentiation of conflict-free commodities from these regions typically requires proactive and collaborative supply chain interventions that align downstream companies’ needs for compliance and risk management with regional stakeholders’ needs for development. While government regulations can enhance supply chain transparency, a purely regulatory response can lead to unintended consequences. For example, without a parallel in-region development strategy, a regulatory approach to conflict minerals could discourage downstream companies from sourcing minerals from the very regions the policies are meant to assist.
With additional regulatory action anticipated in the minerals sector, and with increasing consumer pressure on global companies to go beyond legislative requirements to ensure conflict-free sourcing, there is a need to learn from and expand existing voluntary initiatives to bolster capacity for verified conflict-free sourcing across the globe.
Benefits of a SfH Platform
Solutions for Hope fosters opportunities for dialogue and shared learning across geographies and across minerals. By building shared knowledge, a SfH platform helps to identify those challenges that are consistent across minerals, geographies, and political contexts. By developing a catalogue of potential solutions to these challenges, such a platform can fast-track solutions in new contexts by jumping to discussions about how to adapt existing models, rather than starting from scratch. Similarly, in developing an index of unseen challenges that arise in each new location, this platform will build an ever-improving set of guidance, expediting and enhancing the development of each new supply chain.
A common platform also creates opportunities for streamlined administration and sourcing. As SfH expands within regions, there may be opportunities to consolidate auditing, shipping, training, and administrative expenses across minerals from each region. As these supply chains grow globally, a broader umbrella brand can offer a “one-stop shopping” approach to companies seeking to source any of the 3Ts or gold. A broader SfH program also offers opportunities for increased reporting efficiency and streamlined implementation of due diligence policies across minerals and other commodities.