Current responsible sourcing practices in battery material supply chains fall well short of the standards set out in frameworks such as the OECD’s due diligence guidance, potentially exposing car manufacturers, technology companies and battery manufacturers to significant commercial risks. This article sets out where existing efforts are falling short and recommends practical steps that companies may take to strengthen supply chain due diligence.
Kumi has a key role supporting Trafigura and its partners, Chemaf and Pact, in the development of a formalised artisanal cobalt mine site of unprecedented scale in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This project is proving that artisanal cobalt mining in the DRC can be done responsibly, and at scale.
With 2017 being increasingly seen as a watershed year for electric vehicles, the pressure is on to develop responsible supply chains for battery materials. Cobalt, in particular, is under heavy scrutiny. Companies need to establish effective risk management controls to avoid being caught out by some underestimated and poorly understood risk factors. But there are also significant benefits to be realised from responsible cobalt sourcing practices.