Launched this July, the EPRM Due Diligence Hub is a free-to-use, digital and interactive repository of resources to support companies in conducting due diligence on their mineral supply chains.
Levin Sources was contracted to create the Hub’s content and architecture, support the EPRM Secretariat in its leadership of the Working Group for the Hub, and strategise the initial communications plan. We provided specialist due diligence expertise to meet the ambitious goal of creating a portal tailored to needs of each supply chain actor and covering each step of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas (henceforth: OECD Due Diligence Guidance).
The European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership that accompanies the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation. Its objective is to increase the proportion of responsibly produced minerals originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRAs). To this end, the EPRM works on both the up- and downstream of tin, tantalum and tungsten and gold mineral supply chains. Artisanal and Small-scale Mines (ASM) are supported to produce more responsibly and access to formal markets, and among mid- and downstream actors, the EPRM promotes better due diligence practices.
What does the EPRM Due Diligence Hub portal offer businesses?
The Hub collates links to resources from different initiatives and third-party portals. It’s the only platform that provides this wealth of information in an interactive format, allowing users to easily find and download content that meets their business needs.
The Hub was designed to support businesses affected by the Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017, laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of 3TG metals originating from CAHRAs. However, the Hub will benefit any company with minerals in their supply chain, beyond Union importers of 3TG.
The Hub provides users with a step by step due diligence pathway, alongside access to standards and guidance categorised by mineral. It features real case studies of companies showing how they comply with, or even exceed the requirements of, each step of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.
Since Levin Sources also worked on the content for the EU Commission Due Diligence Ready! Portal, we can compare the two. The Due Diligence Ready! Portal is targeted at SMEs that are new to due diligence and provides introductory resources on responsible sourcing. The EPRM Due Diligence Hub is designed for companies knowledgeable on due diligence, but seeking tailored resources to meet their needs.
How the portal came to be: a three-phased project
Phase 1: Market analysis and needs assessment of the portal
In 2018, Levin Sources conducted a market analysis (including stakeholder analysis, needs assessment, and assessment of other portals) from which we made recommendations on the objective and structure of the portal, as well as suggested next steps to bring it to life.
Phase 2: Hub design and conceptualisation
Initially, a ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP) of the Hub was designed. Levin Sources was contracted to enhance the MVP, envisage the architecture of the portal, and create and curate the content.
The Hub was designed with the corresponding EPRM Working Group, comprised of different EPRM members, funders and the EPRM Secretariat. Levin Sources facilitated the Group, gathering members’ multiple perspectives to conceptualise the portal.
As part of content development, Levin Sources:
- Collated more than one-hundred resources, including tools, guidance documents, standards, FAQs and templates to be included in the portal.
- Produced 15 case studies that show how leading companies comply with one or more of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance steps.
- Tagged case studies and resources by OECD Due Diligence Guidance steps, supply chain tier, and mineral.
- Produced six EPRM project snapshots describing projects funded by the organisation.
Phase 3: Portal development and soft launch
Once the portal architecture and content was agreed, Levin Sources supported the EPRM Secretariat in the construction of the portal.
Levin Sources also created a communications plan for the portal to ensure it reaches the right audience, as well as a specific communications plan and material for the soft launch of the portal conceptualisation. These plans were purpose-built for the EPRM.