OECD Handbook Environmental Due Diligence Mineral Supply Chains
The minerals and metals industries, including the mining sector, have been associated with human rights violations and serious environmental impacts. How to address human rights violations and conflict related risks has been taken up broadly in due diligence guidance and company practice in mineral supply chains. Sector specific practical guidance on environmental issues is missing so far.
In order to support on-going activities of companies to address these challenges and incentivize broader uptake, an OECD Handbook on Environmental Due Diligence in Mineral Supply Chains is currently developed.
The Handbook shall support companies in global mineral and metal supply chains from mine to consumer products in their environmental risk assessment and environmental management and will also look at how environment related risks intersect with human rights related risks and adverse impacts and other areas of RBC. By providing approaches and best practice examples, it shall help companies engage with stakeholders and develop effective measures to cease, prevent, mitigate, and in some cases remediate environmental impacts across mineral and metal supply chains.
The Handbook is developed in a participative multi-stakeholder process at the OECD, starting 2021 and finishing 2022.
Kick-off event @ 2021 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains
The process was kicked-off with a virtual side event at the 2021 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains hosted by the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and OECD. It served to outline the initiative, to learn about perspectives from stakeholders on environmental due diligence issues, to assess gaps and needs and to invite interested parties to contribute to the process.
A summary of the main discussion points the can be found here.
Session @ 2022 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains
The OECD presented the state of work on the Handbook at session 4 of the 6th European Resources Forum 2022 and further aspects of environmental responsibility in global mineral supply chains were discussed with experts from the Netherlands and Germany. Presentations are available here.
Session @ 2023 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains
At the 2023 OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, OECD and UBA have provided key information on the development process and content of the Handbook as well as an outlook on its publication in late summer/early autumn 2023. In addition, it was discussed with stakeholders from the EU commission, industry and civil society how supply chain due diligence can help companies to effectively address upstream environmental impacts in mineral and metal supply chains. A recording of the session entitled “stepping up environmental due diligence in pursuit of a just transition” is available here.
Launch @ re-sourcing Conference 2023
The handbook will be officially launched at the closing conference of the RE-SOURCING project on September 21st in Vienna. The session is hosted by the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and will feature interventions by high-level representatives from BMUV, OECD, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, as well as civil society and business. Registration for the conference is open, online streaming will not be available.
Under the new Federal Government’s 2020 Raw Materials Strategy, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) has committed to initiate an international process to develop an international practical tool on environmental due diligence in mineral supply chains. UBA and BGR are supporting the Ministry of Environment in advancing this initiative. The international process has been established at the OECD Centre on Responsible Business Conduct. An international expert working group chaired by UBA and BGR has been established to advise the process.
Contact: Jan Kosmol; Section III 2.2 Resource Conservation, Material Cycles, Minerals & Metals Industry; jan.kosmol (at) uba.de
Gudrun Franken; Head of Unit Mining and Sustainability, B1.2 Geology of Mineral Resources, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR); gudrun.franken (at) bgr.de
Sophia Gnych; Policy Analyst Center for Responsible Business Conduct, OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; sophia.gnych (at) oecd.org
The UBA’s motto, For our environment (“Für Mensch und Umwelt”), sums up our mission pretty well, we feel. In this video we give an insight into our work.
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