One of the objectives of CRM4EV is to provide guidance, based on tested approaches and global initiatives, to avoid that the rise in CRMs need for EV production will also come with a rise in social issue historically related with the extraction and trade of these materials. Stakeholders need to address the topic and Task40 aims at providing fact based information to do so. The high attention given to the issues related to responsible sourcing of CRMs for EVs is an excellent opportunity to address the topic.the
Although none of the current CRM4EV materials in scope is considered as an OECD “conflict mineral” the issue of responsible sourcing for the CRMs for EVs is relevant and important.
For several of the materials, Cobalt and Rare Earths often mentioned but also for others issues related to responsible sourcing are real and need to be addressed:
– Child labour & human rights abuse
– Health & safety protection
– Environmental pollution risk
Our approach is to look at successful methodologies that have significantly diminished the risk of social impacts, chief among which the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains. The industrial participants in Task 40 CRM4EV are already heavily engaged in responsible sourcing and in improving the situation for the people concerned.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development sets the main goals to provide a clear, practical guidance for companies to ensure responsible operations and sources of supply. In practice this should translate as in no support to non-state armed groups, no “serious abuses”, a clear attempt to prevent and mitigate support to public security forces, bribery, tax evasion, money-laundering and fraud in supply chains and a strengthening of internal controls, due diligence systems, and engagement with suppliers (e.g. supplier upgrading).
Task 40 CRM4EV will collaborate with The World Bank on this topic and several of the participants are also involved in the Global Battery Alliance which is addressing specifically the need to build responsible and transparent global supply chains for the manufacturing of Lithium ion batteries.