Extractives and Raw Materials Audits

Overview

UL's extractives and raw materials auditing team helps companies mitigate the risks associated with raw materials procurement. We work with brands, retailers, wholesalers, processors and raw material extractors/growers associations to identify key risk areas; establish effective monitoring schemes; and implement on-the-ground improvements across the entire extractives (metals and precious stones), wood, shrimp/fish, agriculture and other raw materials supply chains.

Our audits can help determine conformance with the Responsible Jewellery Council's (RJC) Code of Practices and Chain of Custody (CoC) as well as Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Conflict Free Smelter, and London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Responsible Gold Guidance standards.

Definition

UL helps companies determine ethical sourcing by tracing product components, verifying documentation of origin and trade, assessing workplace conditions, and objectively confirming the source of raw materials. UL also conducts customized assessments in support of industry accreditations or specific client programs.

Benefits

Extractives:
UL's active role in the development of standards and recommendations on due diligence allows us to assist companies in developing targeted conflict minerals programs, customized to customers' needs and aligned with industry action and best practice recommendations. We have the capacity to conduct audits throughout the world.

UL's Responsible Sourcing team conducts conformity certification audits for a variety of RJC members, including:

  • Retailers
  • Jewelry manufacturers
  • Diamond grading institutions
  • Diamond cutters and polishers
  • Gold refineries

UL can conduct conflict minerals on-site audits along the full mineral supply chain, from mines to end product. We can also track specific inputs of material back to the source by means of an extensive documentation review and the verification of on-site inventory.

Owing to our early engagement with most major initiatives, the field work carried out for the RBA-GeSI Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Program, the LBMA and the RJC, UL's Responsible Sourcing team has a thorough and in-depth understanding of mineral supply chains from mines to smelters or refineries. This unique understanding of sourcing practices and high-risk areas, combined with UL's in-region presence in Central Africa, provides us with a comprehensive view of company supply chains and enables us to provide high-quality risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies.

Having developed a standard assessment tool for conflict minerals, UL is able to carry out due diligence assessments and traceability assessments. Due diligence assessments evaluate the systems in place at the supplier level to ensure information on the origin of raw materials is systematically requested, obtained and maintained on file for a customer's products. These assessments may easily be combined with other types of on-site audits carried out at the supplier.

UL's team was the first auditing service to be accredited by the RJC as an assessment body to conduct conformity certification audits, and it can assist members and suppliers in becoming certified under the RJC system.

Other benefits of UL's extractives and raw materials audits include:

  • Customized tools and program analysis
  • Internal and supplier training, incorporating local laws and delivered in the local language
  • The ability to fully manage the corrective action process
  • A dedicated account manager to help administer the program
  • Access to a secure online data portal with real-time updates on audit scheduling, audit results, progress toward corrective action and reporting

Agriculture:
Our standard responsible agriculture assessment is based on industry-wide best practices and internationally recognized standards and has been specifically adapted to the unique needs of agricultural production. The assessment covers social compliance and payroll documentation, private and confidential employee interviews, worker health and safety checks, agrochemical use and storage practices, and basic waste and water management systems.

A comprehensive report including categorized data, a descriptive narrative, photographs, risk assessment and recommendations for corrective actions is delivered to the client.

Benefits of UL's responsible agriculture sourcing program include:

  • Customized tools, program analysis, and internal and supplier training, all incorporating local laws and delivered in the local language
  • The ability to fully manage the corrective action process
  • A dedicated account manager to help administer the program
  • Access to a secure online data portal with real-time updates on audit scheduling, audit results, progress toward corrective action and reporting

DELIVERABLES


PRODUCTS THIS SERVICE APPLIES TO

Appliances/HVAC, energy, high tech, power and controls, building materials, chemicals, health sciences, lighting, wire and cable, apparel, textiles, dietary supplements, electronics, electrical, food and beverage, footwear, leather goods, general consumer merchandise, furniture, candle accessories, health and beauty care, household chemicals, jewelry, watches, OTC/pharmaceuticals, premiums and promotional products, store brands/private label, toys, nursery and children's products

APPLICABLE STANDARDS

Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) Provides a global cross-industry platform to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices in order to build comparability and transparency between existing social compliance and environmental compliance systems.
Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) Business-led initiative that provides a common code of conduct and supports efforts toward building an ethical supply chain by providing a step-by-step development-oriented system, applicable to all sectors and all sourcing countries.
Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and RBA Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Program Code of conduct provides guidelines for performance and compliance with critical CSR policies. RBA provides tools to audit compliance with the code and helps companies report progress.
Initiative Clause Sociale (ICS) Shared code of ethics, tools and audit protocols predominately for France-based companies.
Conformity Certification for the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) Promotes responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewelry industry from mine to retail.
London Bullion Market Assocaition (LBMA) LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance is a requirement for all LBMA Good Delivery Refiners and focuses on conflict minerals compliance and over-all responsible gold sourcing practices.
Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) A database designed to capture audit data and allow audited sites to interact with other members of the supply chain to show updates on efforts toward corrective action.
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) A process for a common best practice guide, audit report format and corrective action format; built around measuring compliance against the ETI Base Code.
Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) Software portal for sharing data from workplace assessments and communicating corrective actions.
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) Five-step certification system, focused on lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing throughout the world.
Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) The ETI Base Code is founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is an internationally recognized code of labor practice.
Social Accountability International (SAI) SA 8000 Social accountability certification standards for decent workplaces, across all industrial sectors.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Environmental Management System Series of voluntary standards focused on environmental auditing, environmental performance evaluation, environmental labeling and life-cycle assessment.

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