RMI Conference 2018

RBA Foundation & Initial Audit Fund


RBA Foundation

The RBA Foundation was established in 2015. The purpose of the Foundation is to support RBA’s charitable, scientific and educational activities by improving the public’s ability to consider social, environmental, and economic responsibility within supply chains to make informed consumer decisions. The Foundation is recognized as a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and therefore may receive  tax-deductible charitable contributions from individuals and corporations.  These contributions enable RBA and the Foundation to leverage opportunities for public funding to develop and implement special programs, research projects, tools and other initiatives for public benefit, in the area of responsible mineral sourcing.

The Foundation supports the charitable, scientific, and educational purposes of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) a project of RBA.

The principal purposes for contributions made to the Foundation in support of RMI are:

  • To maintain the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) Initial Audit Fund, which covers the first audit for RMAP auditees, and the publication of audit results on the RMI's website.
  • To support relevant upstream due diligence activities.
  • To develop and publicly disseminate  data, guidance, training, and tools for responsible sourcing.

Making a Donation

Donations to the Foundation can be made via check or wire transfer. Contributing companies will receive a letter from the Foundation thanking them for their donation and support of RMI. The acknowledgement letter will describe the approximate impact of their donation in terms of the number of initial audits that will be paid for by the donation.  Please note, the Foundation deducts 2% of the donation for operational costs.

Initial Audit Fund for Participating Smelters


The Initial Audit Fund is a voluntary program managed by the RMI designed to encourage RMAP-eligible smelters to undergo an independent third party audit and participate in an annual review process. The Fund offers smelters an incentive for participating in the RMAP by fully paying for the costs of their initial audit. Support for the Fund is provided on a voluntary basis and is available to smelters on a first come, first serve basis until audit funds are depleted.

The RMAP provides outcomes that are beneficial to both RMI members and the public: participating smelters or refiners (SORs) are publically listed on the RMI’s website for all actors in the supply chain to view and use in their sourcing decisions, regardless of whether they are a member of RMI or not; proliferation of the audit program also encourages greater number of SORs to develop systems and processes to support conflict-free mineral procurement that may improve responsible mineral practices sourcing upstream, and communities impacted by these improvements. 

The Initial Audit Fund was launched in 2013 by the following corporate donors:

  •     Apple
  •     General Electric
  •     Hewlett-Packard
  •     Intel
  •     Microsoft

Subsequent funding has been provided by:

  •     3M (2014)
  •     ABB (2015, 2016)
  •     Apple (2015)
  •     Baxter Healthcare Corporation (2015)
  •     Becton, Dickinson and Company (2016, 2017)
  •     Best Buy (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)
  •     Dell Inc. (2018)
  •     EMC Corporation (2015)
  •     Ford Motor Company (2015)
  •     Google (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  •     GM (2017, 2018)
  •     Hewlett Packard Enterprise (2016, 2018)
  •     Honda (2015, 2016, 2017)
  •     HP Inc. (2018)
  •     IBM (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  •     Juniper Networks (2016)
  •     Lenovo (2017)
  •     Lockheed Martin (2015, 2016, 2017)
  •     Microsoft (2014)
  •     Nokia (2016)
  •     NXP Semiconductors (2016)
  •     On Semiconductor (2014)
  •     Qualcomm (2014, 2015. 2016)
  •     Sony Corporation (2016)
  •     Tenneco (2015)
  •     Texas Instruments Inc. (2016)


To be eligible for use of the funds, smelters must first meet the RMAP eligibility requirements. Once determined to be eligible for the audit, the smelter must not have undergone a previous RMAP audit, must have demonstrated its commitment to participating in the RMAP by signing the Auditee Agreement and Agreement for Exchange of Confidential Information, and must have submitted the Pre-Audit Checklist and Line Item Summary to RMI staff in a timely manner. The Fund can be applied to multiple facilities under a single smelter so long as it is each facility’s first audit. Furthermore, in order to encourage RMAP participation among as many companies as possible, each smelter is only eligible for one incentive for each metal for which it is undergoing the audit.


For more information or to make a donation, please contact Hillary Amster at hamster@responsiblebusiness.org.