The RBA Foundation was established in 2015 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 that the Foundation deducts 2% of the donation for operational costs. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Tyson.
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 assessment 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 assessment funds are depleted.
The Initial Audit Fund was launched in 2013 by the following corporate donors:
- General Electric
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, 2019)
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (2016, 2018, 2019)
- Honda (2015, 2016, 2017)
- HP Inc. (2018)
- IBM (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- Illinois Tool Works Inc. (2019)
- Juniper Networks (2016)
- Lenovo (2017, 2019)
- LG Electronics USA, Inc. (2018, 2019)
- Lockheed Martin (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Microsoft (2014, 2019)
- Nokia (2016)
- NXP Semiconductors (2016)
- On Semiconductor (2014)
- Qualcomm (2014, 2015. 2016, 2018, 2019)
- Sony Corporation (2016, 2018, 2019)
- 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 assessment, 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 assessment. 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 assessment.
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Catherine Tyson.
NEW! Financial Assistance for Re-Assessments
The RMI also has funds available to support the cost of re-assessment for smelters or refiners that are already participating (active or conformant) in the RMAP for which the cost of re-assessment may be burdensome.
Interested parties must demonstrate that the total material processed over the last 12-month period is less than or equal to the following:
- Sn: <10,000 kg
- Ta: <10,000 kg
- Au: <1,000 kg
- W: N/A*
An application form and supporting documentation in the form of a mass balance for the previous 12-month period up to one month before application will be required. If the RMI finds that an SOR meets these criteria RMI will cover 75% of the cost of the assessment. The SOR will be responsible for the remaining 25% of the assessment cost. Funds are only eligible for the on-site assessment and not for CAP implementation review (either on-site or desktop).
NEW! Upstream Due Diligence Smelter Fund
Smelters and refiners participating in RMAP sourcing from Conflict-affected and High-risk Areas (CAHRAs) have a number of due diligence requirements, one of which is to conduct on-the-ground assessments. For the DRC and some of the adjoining countries, upstream assurance mechanisms exist (e.g. iTSCi and BSP) to reduce the burden on companies to conduct these activities by themselves. However, for newly identified CAHRAs, no upstream assurance mechanisms exist. This means the smelter or refiner must take individual responsibility to gather this information, placing a significant burden on them to expend resources and time to conduct upstream due diligence independently. The burden is so great that it risks being an impediment to sourcing from those CAHRAs in a manner that could be of great economic development value for the local communities. Moreover, smelters and refiners often lack the expertise to conduct conflict/human rights assessments, as that is not a core of their business activity.
The New Fund
The RMI has created a fund for smelters and refiners to offset the costs of mine-level assessments in CAHRAs that are not already covered by an upstream assurance mechanism. The fund would support the following activities:
- Smelters and refiners independently conducting due diligence on their upstream supply chains either themselves or with a consultant
- Local suppliers of smelters and refiners to conduct assessments themselves
- Local communities from which smelter and refiners source to build capacity to conduct the assessments and ongoing mine site monitoring
- Financial assistance to industry associations, educational organizations, or other not-for-profits who are looking to develop or expand upstream assurance mechanisms into CAHRAs more broadly
The fund is housed within the RBA Foundation. Companies can contribute to the fund at their voluntary discretion, and receive acknowledgement.To be eligible for use of the funds, smelters must first meet the RMAP eligibility requirements. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, as resources are available. Each smelter or refiner may apply once per year, and receive up to $10,000. Funds will be made available once donation total reaches $50,000.
The Upstream Due Diligence Smelter Fund was launched in 2019 by the following corporate donors:
- Axalta Coating Systems
- Becton Dickinson
- Best Buy
- Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles
- Google / Alphabet Inc.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- Intel Corporation
Please earmark your donation for the Upstream Due Diligence Smelter Fund. Donations to the RBA 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. Please note, the Foundation deducts 2% of the donation for operational costs.
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Catherine Tyson.