Responsible sourcing: The case of batteries

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Over the last decade, responsible sourcing has become a topic of broad interest. Policymakers, consumers and companies have all referred to it as a way to address the sustainability risks of global mineral supply chains, but the term has also been used to refer to a wide range of other sustainability objectives.

An industry that is particularly susceptible to the issue is battery manufacturing, as it is largely dependent on critical raw material imports. In the past few years, stakeholders have highlighted supply chain risks related to raw materials in batteries, comprising environmental, social and governance risks.

To work towards responsible sourcing, the European Union has been investing in several initiatives, most of which are aligned with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) “Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas”.

In the field of batteries, the European Commission is taking concrete actions. In its Proposal for a regulation concerning batteries and waste batteries, it has outlined responsible sourcing as a means to achieve the objective of reducing environmental and social impacts. The proposal highlights the essential role of batteries to achieve the EU objective of decarbonisation of the economy and other challenges related to sustainable development.

Apart from responsible sourcing, the Commission is also working to improve the EU regulatory framework on sustainable corporate governance in general. The framework would enable companies to focus on long-term sustainable value creation rather than short-term benefits. It would also help companies to better manage sustainability-related matters in their own operations and value chains in regards to social and human rights, climate change and the environment.

Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss sustainable governance, responsible sourcing and the importance of due diligence in the battery supply chain.

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