The world of supply chains is complex and ever-growing. From the mobile phone in your hand to the car you drive to the clothes you wear – they all come from a supply chain, composed of vendors, organizations, and people that make them possible. But do we truly know the origin of these products? Who mined the Cobalt and Lithium used in phones? Were they responsibly sourced? Was there child labor involved? Forced labor? Did it fund conflict?
The importance of sustainability within mining supply chains cannot be understated in terms of human rights violations and their impact on local communities. With this article, let’s take a closer look at sustainability in mining supply chains and uncover how businesses can ensure their products are sourced ethically.
Sourcing minerals from mining supply chains responsibly and sustainably is key for businesses to ensure ethical standards in the products they sell. But how do they go about it? Three important factors come into play: sustainability, ethics, and economic impact.
Sustainability means that all minerals are sourced responsibly and with minimal environmental impact, while ethics pertains to asking the right questions regarding child labor and modern slavery. Economic impact addresses the issue of local communities – do suppliers pay fair wages, offer adequate working conditions, and adhere to environmental regulations?
The scale of this challenge is vast, but progress can be made by engaging with suppliers on a deeper level and engaging in traceability initiatives to understand where your minerals are coming from. Companies must also commit to reviewing supplier agreements on an annual basis as well as implementing monitoring protocols throughout their supply chain. We can create a more ethical world by working together and taking responsibility for our sourcing practices. Through responsible mining, we can see the continuation of this industry without impacts on our planet and its people.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best E Houses in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.