The European Commission has launched an online portal to support businesses in sustainable sourcing of raw materials.
The ‘Due Diligence Ready!’ portal aims to provide guidance to businesses on the correct process for conducting due diligence, in terms of ensuring that the metals and minerals which enter their supply chains are derived from sustainable sources. The portal will enable users to confirm that their sourcing of raw materials does not violate human rights; and to promote accountability and transparency at all stages of the value chain.
In 2017, the EU passed its Regulation on Responsible Sourcing of Materials – commonly known as the Conflict Minerals Regulation – aimed at ensuring that raw materials mined for industry are not taken from sources which support conflict or violence. The regulation, which encourages the sustainable sourcing of materials from local communities and small businesses, will cover up to 95% of imports of raw materials by January 2020.
The Due Diligence Ready! programme is projected to support businesses in promoting sustainability and responsibility across the supply chain, with measures including:
- Providing business users with the necessary information and training tools to improve their due diligence practices;
- Offering guidance on responsible sourcing of metals and minerals, with a particular focus on gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten, all of which are in high demand in the production of items such as mobile phones and cars; and
- Working to improve transparency throughout the raw materials value chain, in response to increased consumer demand for sustainable sourcing practices.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Today, market demand for responsibly sourced raw materials is growing. These materials are essential to new business sectors and clean technologies like high power batteries; and businesses should ensure that each step in the value chain is carried out in a transparent, responsible and sustainable way. I welcome the launch of Due Diligence Ready! which will help businesses make more informed choices.”