In the fiscal year 2016, Sony undertook assessments for adherence to the Sony Supply Chain Code of Conduct as well as investigation to confirm the chain of custody with respect to the cobalt supply chain across all its battery suppliers and battery parts suppliers. Sony assessed total 14 suppliers, including seven lithium-ion battery suppliers and seven suppliers that deliver cobalt contained battery parts for its battery manufacturing business. As a result, five suppliers have reported that the cobalt contained in the battery parts they delivered to Sony include the ones that are sourced from the DRC. To further ensure the compliance with the Sony Supply Chain Code of Conduct, Sony also requested the above 14 suppliers to ensure the conformance of its upstream suppliers.
In order to identify as well as mitigate the adverse human rights impact associated with mineral extraction in high risk areas, we believe that multi-stakeholder collaboration is necessary. Sony has engaged in various multi-stakeholder collaborations such as the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI) and Responsible Raw Material Initiative (RRMI) to participate in the development of the due diligence process and mitigate human rights risks in the supply chain. Also, to better understand the current situation of artisanal and small-scale mining in the DRC, Sony has supported an independent academic research project conducted by the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at the University of Berkeley together with several other companies. The research aims to provide rigorous empirical data on households engaged in artisanal mining, and it involves collecting survey data from households, children, village leaders, and local mineral traders in 150 communities that are representative and cover the full geographical extent of the DRC Copper Belt. The project will be a baseline for further actions to support in collaboration with the DRC government and other stakeholders.