Why an ITRI Code of Conduct (CoC)?
As downstream companies, consumers and regulators focus attention on the supply chains of products; the demand for methods to verify the source of metal, and to evaluate the circumstances of production of that metal is growing. Through ITRI, the tin industry has previously committed to an Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Policy, taken voluntary and proactive steps to progressively improve the circumstances of production in central Africa, and will now undertake the development of a Code of Conduct that is intended to be relevant to companies across the tin production and trading sector, including secondary materials.
What is the objective?
The Code of Conduct will assist metal users and consumers to differentiate between suppliers when making purchasing choices not only on technical issues, but also the wider environmental and social performance of companies. Similarly, it is intended to assist and encourage investment into responsible tin production, as well as to drive general improvement in performance of the industry as a whole and make tin a metal of choice.
Who could participate?
ITRI Member companies have unanimously committed to the concept of a Code of Conduct and have requested ITRI to begin work on its development. Participation in the Code will relate to ITRI membership and part of the initial activity will be to understand and highlight existing socially responsible activities of ITRI members. At the same time, the CoC is intended to be inclusive and extend to all parts of the supply chain in order to encourage a common understanding of expectations from exploration, miners, smelters, recyclers as well as traders and exchanges in the longer term.
What will be included?
The CoC will, in time, address many aspects of sustainability covering human rights, social, environmental as well as technical topics. Ultimately it is intended to consist of various documents of differing levels of detail, and with differing uses starting with a general Statement of Values, working through details on standards expected for each Principle (or topic), eventually to a process for issuing a Certificate of Compliance. Not all Principles will be relevant to every company and each participating company’s position in the supply chain, business activities and size will be considered in the development of the CoC.
How will it be developed?
It is proposed to take a phased approach to developing the CoC and the associated documentation over a period of approximately four years, with the first phase of planning activity, addressing priority issues, and evaluating means for measuring and reporting progress expected in the first years. The CoC will consolidate and build on existing schemes, codes or audits to include a range of topics and issues, and will relate and adapt to new regulatory requirements. The development will consist of gathering information, drafting initial documentation, trial implementation, revision, and finalisation, with consultation at appropriate stages.
The role of ITRI
ITRI will play a co-ordinating role for the collection and aggregation of information from companies, as well as drafting of the CoC documentation, and revising the drafts based on comments and supplementary information that may become available. The work will be carried out with the input of relevant consultants familiar with similar types of industry schemes in order to guide the direction of work, advise on the components that need to be developed, and input additional expertise.