Successful Due Diligence Kick-Off Session

Companies active in the metals sector have gained more insight into how to get started with their due diligence. During the Kick-off Session on this subject, the companies were introduced to the Maturity Assessment Tool (MAT) for due diligence. This tool provides insight into the level of companies’ due diligence performance and helps them to further improve on this. The knowledge acquired at the session shall enable the companies put international responsible business conduct (RBC) into practice.
Successful Due Diligence Kick-Off Session © SER

The Kick-off session was organised for the companies that participate in the International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector. The session took place on 29 November at the Social and Economic Council (SER) in The Hague. A follow-up session will be organised mid-February 2020. Due diligence is a process through which companies identify, assess, mitigate, prevent and account for actual adverse impacts and potential adverse impacts (risks) of their own operations, supply chains and other business relationships.

The tools

The Maturity Assessment Tool, which was presented during the session, was developed by the Agreement parties and the secretariat, which is run by the SER. Together with the Due Diligence Implementation Guide – that encompasses a comprehensive list of terms, definitions, tips and tricks – the tool shall help companies to make a start with their due diligence policy and practice. The International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector expects the signatory companies to reach ‘full maturity’ in implementing due diligence in 5 years. Reaching the level of “full maturity” implies that the companies act in accordance with the OECD Guidelines and UN Guiding Principles in their business operations.

Progressive improvement

The companies are expected to answer the questions in the tool by the end of February 2020. The answers shall provide companies with insight into their current due diligence performance level. Based on the outcome, the companies are expected to develop a maturity improvement plan for their due diligence activities. Using this plan, they can progressively grow to achieve the due diligence level described in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for RBC.

A couple of companies that had already tested the tool, as a pilot, shared their experiences with the other companies. This resulted in a lively interaction between the companies. A government representative and two ngo’s were present at the session as well, to share their expertise and knowledge about due diligence with the companies.