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Jean-Baptiste Collovray

Senior Consultant

James Lewry



Enhancing impact and stakeholder engagement for an investor’s initiative

Stewart Investors, an equity investor, led a joint initiative on behalf of 160 investors managing a combined US$6.59 trillion in assets, aiming to advance best practices in sourcing minerals in the semiconductor industry. 

The initiative faced challenges in understanding how the companies identified and mitigated risks, particularly as companies heavily relied on industry assurance mechanisms such as certifications and third-party audits. Investors were worried that this reliance was shifting responsibility away from companies to third-party initiatives. Downstream companies do not typically have visibility on the smelter’s audit report, and information on minerals’ countries of origin is not communicated to downstream companies. Therefore, the investors needed assurance that the key risks they and other stakeholders identified in these supply chains were being addressed.  

Kumi supported Stewart Investors, the equity investor leading the initiative, to enhance its engagement with companies and other stakeholders to achieve impact. This involved developing guidance for engagement and organising an in-person, multi-stakeholder workshop to enable dialogue between investors and companies.

Development of guidance for engagement

We provided engagement guidance that included technical insights on responsible minerals sourcing practices and assurance mechanisms in semiconductors and electronics supply chains. It included targeted questions to prompt meaningful responses from companies on challenges relating to traceability and transparency in their minerals supply chains. Based on their responses, the guidance also suggested what actions investors can request of companies.

Fostering engagement – Multi-stakeholder workshop

Kumi organised and facilitated an interactive, in-person workshop involving:

  • Investors;
  • Multinational companies operating in or reliant on the semiconductor supply chain;
  • A representative from the OECD;
  • Senior leadership from industry associations.

Investors expressed their concerns that current industry practices were inadequate to provide confidence that human rights abuses and conflict financing risks were being identified and adequately mitigated. They also recognised companies’ challenges, primarily related to supply chain complexity and limited leverage.

Companies shared their practical constraints whilst implementing responsible minerals supply chain programmes. The influential downstream companies explained how they were actively engaging their suppliers and industry stakeholders on the issue, looking for opportunities to amplify their reach and impact.

Workshop participants agreed that downstream companies hold significant leverage when aligned on the same positions. This allows them to engage with their supply chains with a cohesive and effective message. They also agreed that strengthening investor-company collaborations would reinforce this leverage.

Following the workshop, the industry association has created an investor network, opening a channel for investors to formally engage and contribute to the responsible minerals supply chain processes and initiatives alongside companies.

Stewart Investors

Lessons learnt and next steps

  • Investors are eager to engage with companies. Yet, they often find it challenging to determine the appropriate starting point and course of action.
  • Investors can use their leverage to drive positive change. However, successful engagement with companies requires a shared understanding of their challenges and how they address them.
  • As much as identifying and mitigating risks is important for investors, it is equally important to understand and acknowledge the efforts already made by companies and the challenges they face.

Mutual understanding and trust propelled meaningful engagement with companies, creating momentum to scale the initiative. Through our ongoing collaboration, we will support this initiative’s development and promote investors’ leading role in advancing responsible business practices.


“Working with Kumi provided us with valuable context and opportunities to broaden our understanding of the complexities surrounding conflict minerals in the semiconductor industry. Our partnership has helped us have more effective conversations with both companies and fellow investors, in a collaborative drive for more transparent supply chains free from social and environmental abuses.” 

Christopher McGoldrick, Senior Investment Analyst, Stewart Investors