Supply Chain CSR

Responsible Sourcing of Minerals

Responsible Minerals Sourcing

Policy for High Risk Minerals

Where minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold (3TG) and cobalt are mined in conflict-affected or high-risk areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries, the revenue from the mining and trading of these minerals is a source of funding for armed groups and anti-government forces carrying out atrocities and human rights abuses. Minerals sourced from such conflict-affected or high-risk areas have the potential to promote conflict, human rights violations and environmental degradation.

Epson considers mining to be an intensive process involving social and environmental risks, and believes the mining of metals and minerals, including conflict minerals (3TG) and cobalt mined in the DRC, as well as other minerals mined in other regions, must be managed.

Epson’s policy is that we want no part in any human rights violations or environmental destruction. While sourcing minerals that originate in conflict-affected or high-risk areas, we will not, by any means, tolerate, knowingly profit from, contribute to, assist with or facilitate the commission by any party of any form of human rights violations or abuses, or support operations that result in the degradation of socioeconomic and environmental stability.

As a member of RBA (Responsible business alliance) and RMI (Responsible mineral initiative), Epson requires its suppliers to adhere to this policy and expects them to support and promote compliance within the supply chain.

Epson takes the following actions to responsibly source minerals used in Epson products.

  1. Requires its suppliers to comply the Epson Group Supplier Guideline and the Epson Supplier Code of Conduct (harmonised with the RBA code of conduct).
    > The Epson Group Supplier Guideline and Epson Supplier Code of Conduct
  2. Identify and prioritize minerals for inclusion in our responsible sourcing strategy (currently 3TG for all products, and cobalt for microdevices, as of 2020, cobalt for projectors also).
  3. Require suppliers to conduct due diligence on prioritized minerals in accordance with OECD Guidance and provide routine reporting using the tools developed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) to enable supply chain transparency.
  4. To ensure that minerals are procured only from smelters and refiners verified as compliant with the Responsible Minerals Assurance Program (RMAP) developed by the RMI. Epson requires smelters and refiners to obtain proof of compliance through their supply chains.
  5. Continue to collect relevant information regarding industry trends in the US, customer reactions and movements in the EU and other regions to assure continued compliance to future regulations.

Responsible Minerals Survey Program

To conduct practical and appropriate surveys throughout Epson's entire supply chain to check that Epson products contain responsibly sourced minerals, Epson established the Epson Group Responsible Minerals Procedures Standard as an internal survey program. This standard is based on the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas issued by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Epson conducts annual surveys using the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) and Cobalt Reporting Template (CRT) provided by the RMI to identify upstream suppliers of conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold; 3TG) and cobalt, identify the smelters and refiners in the supply chain and assess gathered information to confirm the status of supplier improvement programs related to prioritised minerals. Epson then implements measures based on risk level.

Epson also uses socially responsible procurement supplier briefings and various other opportunities to promote understanding of Epson policies, requests initiatives to improve survey accuracy, and shares information on prioritised minerals response trends, in our production facility sites in the world. Epson will continue working with suppliers to make sure that minerals used in our products fulfill the standards set in our responsible minerals sourcing policy.

Target and Results

3TG Survey Results

  KPI FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Total Gold Tantalum Tin Tungsten
Number of identified smelters*1 - 312 314 344 159 45 93 47
Number of CFS - 249 256 268 107 40 78 43
Rate of CFS 100%
(by March, 2021)
80% 82% 78% 67% 89% 84% 91%
Response rate from suppliers 100%
94% 92% 91% - - - -

*1 For information regarding the details of the smelters, see List of the Smelters or Rifiners identified in Seiko Epson's supply chain which were known by RMI.
    For requesting conflict mineral survey of individual products, please contact your local Epson sales company.

Result of Cobalt survey 2019: Two CF smelters out of 20 identified smelters (Rate of CFS: 10%).

Partnerships with External Organizations

Epson is a member of the following organizations that are promoting responsible sourcing minerals, and fostering cooperation to promote the use of conflict mineral surveys in the supply chain:

2. The Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).