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Triodos Engagement Report

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Responsible sourcing

Case study | Nordex in Germany

Responsible minerals have been an important topic of our engagement efforts since 2004. The challenges and risks relating to these minerals, essential for much of our electronic devices, remain urgent. Our engagement tactics include discussing responsible sourcing with companies that use these minerals and by requiring a commitment from companies to avoid the use of them.

Nordex is part of the Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund
Nordex is part of the Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund

Responsible sourcing

For over a decade, Triodos has been supporting efforts to break the connection between the mining of so called ‘conflict minerals’ and the extremely violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and its surrounding countries. Triodos has been engaging with companies in industries that use most of the minerals, discussing responsible sourcing and requiring a commitment from companies to avoid the use of conflict minerals.

 

Nordex - assessing the supply chain

In 2016, we engaged with German wind turbine producer Nordex on the topic of conflict minerals. The company was newly assessed and approved for investment early 2016. The company had no detailed overview of the amount and origin of conflict materials but assured us they would look into this topic. In a follow-up call in the fourth quarter we learned that the company is currently assessing the types and volumes of potential conflict minerals used. We will be informed once results from this assessment are available.

Angelika Bauschke, Head of Sustainability Management: "The dialogue about conflict minerals with Triodos expanded our understanding of possible human rights risks in our supply chain. Also taking into account EU regulatory developments in this field, we appreciated the dialogue with Triodos that encouraged us to asses our exposure to the minerals of concern and to consider appropriate steps to mitigate that risk".

Collaborative action

Besides individually engaging with companies, we joined a group of international investors, led by pension investor APG. The aim of this group is to engage with 13 companies on child labour in the cobalt supply chain. The investor group also informed the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), about its concerns and was invited in return, to discuss EICC’s new ‘Responsible Raw Materials Initiative’ that aims to extend the scope of due diligence mechanisms beyond tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (currently the scope of the US Dodd Frank Act and upcoming EU regulation) for example, but also to cobalt. Triodos welcomes this new EICC initiative and encouraged the organisation to align the new initiative with best practices in responsible mineral sourcing. Responsible sourcing of minerals will remain a strict requirement and we will continue trying to maximise our impact.

Regulatory developments

In the US, the Dodd Frank Act has helped to improve supply chain due diligence and in Europe comparable legislation is coming into force. In 2014, Triodos Investment Management joined a group of responsible investors calling upon the EU policy makers to ensure more compatibility between the proposed EU conflict minerals regulation and the Dodd-Frank Act. At the end of 2016, final political agreement was reached on the EU conflict mineral regulation, set to come into force in January 2021.

 

Download our full SRI Report


or read more about our legislative involvement on our Triodos Impact Investing blog

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