Responsible Sourcing

New Materials Available for Tackling Capacity Building in Mining

13.02.2020 |

Despite the increasing number of guidelines and regulations, it can still be difficult for companies to ensure responsible sourcing on the ground. Guidelines alone are not enough. Companies ought to understand and incorporate them into their daily operations. Investing in capacity building is therefore important. Over the past years, CSR Europe - the facilitator of the automotive initiative Drive Sustainability - has developed and conducted trainings for suppliers of the automotive industry, mainly direct suppliers to final manufacturing companies. To carry the capacity building further up to the extraction and processing stages of the supply chain, CSR Europe and the "Extractives for Development" (X4D) sector programme worked together to make available a new training template to address the responsible sourcing in large-scale mines, smelters and refiners and their suppliers.

Guidelines and regulations on responsible sourcing of raw materials are increasing. In 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its "Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas". To help put an end to severe human rights abuses such as child labour and slave labour as well as conflict financing through the trade of the minerals gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum (3TG), the EU regulation on Conflict Minerals will come into force on 01 January 2021. At the national level, relevant legislation on supply chain due diligence was passed in the Netherlands ("Child Labor Due Diligence" law), in France ("Due diligence of corporations and main contractors") and the UK ("Modern Slavery Act"). In Germany, the National Action Plan for Human Rights (NAP) sets out a voluntary due diligence framework for companies.

However, are these regulations enough to tackle the challenges on the ground? According to the latest Corporate Human Rights Benchmarks (CHRB) Report of 2019, the majority of companies still perform poorly in the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Due Diligence. The experiences of the leading automotive initiative Drive Sustainability (DS) confirm that regulations, risk assessment and audits do not yield practical solutions to daily challenges and should be complemented with capacity building activities. To tackle this gap, the DS consortium has developed, in collaboration with suppliers and stakeholders, a "Supplier Training Model".  The training aims to support suppliers with methods to integrate sustainability aspects into their supply chains, thereby contributing to ensuring corporate due diligence. The training is for professionals of Purchasing, Human Resources and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). Its key feature is the interactive learning of fundamental and locally relevant knowledge on sustainability delivered in practical workshops and complemented by best practices. Based on this model, CSR Europe, in partnership with the sectorprogramm Extractives and Development, addressed these knowledge gaps in the mining industry. The result? A training template that large-scale mines, smelters and refiners can use for their internal and supplier trainings. The material was developed and tested in close collaboration with the International Platinum Association and large-scale Platinum mines in South Africa. Companies interested in ensuring responsible sourcing along their supply chain can use the template, available upon request, as framework for their own supplier trainings.

For further information, please contact Janne Kaiser-Tedesco.

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