Daimler has increased transparency in the raw material supply chain by joining the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, the Responsible Mineral Initiative, the Responsible Steel Initiative and the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative. The common goals are certifiable standards, safe origins and transparency in the procurement of high-risk raw materials and a tangible improvement in the working and living conditions of people locally.
The focus of the initiatives is on the procurement of cobalt, steel and aluminium. The future step will be the complete transparency of the supply chain for battery cell production. Battery cells contain cobalt as well as lithium, nickel, copper and manganese.
“The expansion of electromobility places new demands on the automotive industry and especially on purchasing. We are aware of our responsibility in the procurement of raw materials and are pooling our strengths in these initiatives through cooperation with other business enterprises,” states Sabine Angermann, Head of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for Raw Materials and Strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Cobalt is a key component in the production of electric vehicles. Companies which work with cobalt as a raw material face the risk of not being able to completely exclude the violation of human rights during cobalt extraction. Daimler AG has, therefore, joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative. Here Daimler AG works together with other companies and NGOs, government representatives, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop measures aimed at combating social and ecological risks along the entire cobalt supply chain. The aim is especially to exclude the risk of child labour and increase transparency and governance.
To prevent the infiltration of material that might contribute to conflict, the company is also actively involved in the Responsible Minerals Initiative. RMI uses a self-developed, independent validation scheme for refineries and smelters to demonstrate that they have systems in place to ensure the responsible sourcing of minerals.
Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs, said: “With the Human Rights Respect System, Daimler AG develops a holistic approach to respecting human rights both in its own majority holding companies and along the supply chain. As one important measure, the company has identified around 50 potentially high-risk raw materials. The goal is to make the supply chains for potentially high-risk raw materials transparent and to take risk-based, target-oriented measures successively,”.