23 June 2016

Corporate social responsibility

A.O. Smith strongly believes in doing business with honesty and integrity, ever since its founding in 1874. We are convinced this has contributed to our successful 140-years of doing business. We strive to do business with like-minded suppliers and partners.

Conflict minerals

As a 100% subsidiary of the American A.O. Smith Corporation, A.O. Smith Veldhoven is partly bound to U.S. laws. In July 2010 president Obama ratified the so-called Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Act. The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) herewith imposes reporting requirements on listed companies whose products contain materials that are defined “conflict minerals” by the U.S. government. These are, in particular, the minerals tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold. They are commonly used in consumer electronics such as laptops, phones and mp3-players.

In some areas the mining and reselling of these highly profitable minerals goes without problems, in other regions such as eastern Congo this persistently nurtures the (financing of) wars between army groups, rebel groups and other parties that try to profit from the brokering. Aim of the new legislation is to shut off the money flow that funds the war, in particular in Africa. Transparency of the supply chain should lead to awareness and consequently a demand for ‘clean’ sources or alternative, substitute materials.

Business ethics

The new legislation is fully in line with the principles of A.O. Smith of doing business with honesty and integrity. We have started the reporting about our supply chain in 2013. Approaching all our suppliers is basically the first step in an annual process. On their turn, our suppliers will approach their suppliers and this process should be repeated up to the refinery / smelter of each conflict material. An administrative task that bears no relation to the lives that can be saved.

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Further reading on Wikipedia