Follow Up on Lithium Battery Supply Chain Issues: Working with NGOs on Sourcing Issues

Cobalt Mine [Flickr / fairphone]

Cobalt Mine [Flickr / fairphone]

In January 2016, we wrote about a report issued by NGOs Amnesty International and African Resources Watch, revealing that most of the world’s cobalt supply – an integral ingredient for lithium batteries – comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is mined using child labor.  At that time, the major retailers of products that use lithium batteries (basically anything with a rechargeable battery) denied sourcing cobalt from the DRC, even though anyone buying cobalt in commercial quantities almost had to be sourcing from the region.  The evident confusion was likely caused by the circuitous supply chain between the DRC “artisanal” and the major tech suppliers – one that almost invariably wound through China, where the cobalt changed hands several times before being purchased as a component of lithium batteries by western tech companies.

Now, more than a year later, at least one tech supplier has begun to acknowledge the source of its cobalt supply.  Continue Reading

Analysis – President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress

Congress

Squire Patton Bogg’s public policy team produced an analysis of President Trump’s first appearance before a joint session of Congress.  Addressing Congress on his 40th day in office, the President set forth his policy goals for what he expects to accomplish in the next 40 days and beyond.

In their analysis, our public policy colleagues discuss four major areas of potential legislation: health care reform, comprehensive tax reform (including international tax reform), immigration reform, and infrastructure spending.

Please click below to read the full analysis.

First 40 Days link

 

 

Exposure of Labour Abuses in Myanmar: What Companies Need to Consider Before Investing in Supply Chain Relationships

In light of the recent report outlining the shocking working conditions in Myanmar garment factories, we look at how organisations considering investing in the region should react to reports such as this; the practicalities of investing in such an industry/region as well as the factors organisations should consider when entering into new supplier relationships to ensure their supply chain and organisation remains slavery free.  Please click below to read the full article by Simon Garbett and Beverley Smith.

Exposure of Labour Abuses in Myanmar Factories Client Alert link

See our related posts here and here.

Responsible Sourcing For Garment and Footwear Manufacturers, Brands, and Retailers – New Guidance from the OECD

On February 8, 2017, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued its Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector.  The Guidance promotes a framework of actions that enterprises in this sector can use to address and reduce the negative human rights impacts of their business activities.  It’s not only a suggested framework from OECD, but it will likely be an outline that NGOs and activists will use as they review, analyze, and score the efforts and disclosures of enterprises in the sector.   Check out this link for the basic recommendations for supply chain due diligence, a full outline of the Guidance, and specific approaches to address child labour and forced labour.

National Food Crime Whistleblowing: Time to Review Safeguards Against Supply Chain Threats?

On November 28, 2016, the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit launched “Food Crime Confidential”, a reporting facility targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry, where anyone with suspicions about food crime can confidentially report them over the phone or through email.  Rob Elvin, Partner in our Manchester office, and Nicola Smith, Senior Associate in our  Birmingham office,  take a look at the background of the launch, the requirement to monitor and assess supply chain threat and the challenges and opportunities for food business operators.

To download, please click here:  National Food Crime Whistleblowing: Time to Review Safeguards Against Supply Chain Threats?

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