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Exchange with Interested Stakeholders

Responsible Business Alliance (RBA)

Acer continued its involvement in the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the largest multi-sector industry coalition dedicated to corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. Acer observes or participates in RBA's various initiatives and working groups, such as the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI), Public Procurement Working Group, Environmental Sustainability Working Group and its various subgroups. In 2021, Acer continued its involvement in the RMI Smelter Engagement Team, on the Global Level 1 Research team. The primary responsibilities of the group are to reach out to alleged smelters to determine if they are true smelters and to provide details for inclusion the RMI’s smelter database. This provided the necessary information to prepare the next SET team level for initial smelter outreach with the goal of gaining the smelter’s participation in the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process. 

Also, as part of its membership in the RBA, Acer contributed to the RBA Foundation along with other members and the RBA to support the RMI-Pact Partnership for Supporting Alternative Livelihoods Through a Vocational Training Program. The program, which was developed and coordinated by international NGO Pact, is operating in eight communities in Kolwezi, DRC and provides vocational skills training for youth aged 15-17 working at mine sites. The education and technical skills enable the recipients to take advantage of safer alternative work opportunities to cobalt mining, while allowing them to continue supporting themselves and their families. Since 2019, the program has trained 223 youth and has proven to be successful, with most apprentices not returning to mining and many of them starting their own businesses using their new vocational skills. The current phase is seeking to train an additional 150 youth and provide continued support to 123 former graduates. The program continues to launch new phases and has made a positive impact in the DRC. 

As part of the Environmental Sustainability Working Group Acer continues to attend meetings and in 2021 joined the Circular Materials Taskforce and provided feedback on an effort to define “responsible recycling” at each phase of electronics-end-of-life processing. The definitions for responsible recycling, material tracking, and material origin/destination will feed into current and future RBA projects on ESG assurance and material tracking. Due to the continued impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the RBA and RMI membership meetings and conferences were held virtually again in 2021. Acer remotely attended the virtual event which included a summary of the state of the RBA and updates on the progress of the RBA’s many initiatives and working groups. In addition, the event included  breakout sessions which enabled discussions among industry peers and other stakeholders to share ideas on current and future supply chain issues.

<For additional information on the program and Pact>

Information Technology Industry Council – Environment and Sustainability Group

In 2021, Acer continued its membership with the Information Technology Industry Council, Environment and Sustainability affiliate group. Acer continued to participate in three main working groups within the ITI Environment and Sustainability group that address green procurement, product stewardship, and energy efficiency, where members discuss emerging and existing tech policies and standards and provide industry expertise to guide the development and maintenance of these policies. 

Also in 2021, Acer joined a newly formed Right-to-Repair task group, which was convened to get feedback from membership and to develop a strategic approach to the many proposed laws and stakeholder pressures to address product lifecycle, spare parts availability, independent repair, etc. of electronic products in the United States and the European Union. Due to the continued global Covid-19 pandemic, the ITI Environment and Sustainability membership meetings were held in a virtual format, but still enabled members to get the latest policy and organization developments from ITI and to share experiences with other members. Acer attended two days of virtual meetings in March and again in October.