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The Volkswagen Group has joined the ‘Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)’, an alliance of non-governmental organisations, labour unions, affected communities, investors, mining companies and purchasers of raw materials.
With more than 50 diverse members, IRMA works to develop and establish rigorous standards for responsible extraction of raw materials in mining.
The manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) is placing new demands for responsible sourcing, especially in the extraction of battery raw materials such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and graphite.
The Volkswagen Group is committed to gradually implementing the initiative’s standards in its own supply chain.
These standards cover a range of issues, including working health and safety and environmental protection.
Volkswagen Group’s Board Member for Purchasing, Murat Aksel, says: “The path to transparent and sustainable supply chains leads directly to the mine. That’s why we welcome the establishment of clear rules. Such standards are all the more effective the more consistently they are defined and the more partners adhere to them. IRMA brings together all the important players: The raw material suppliers, the raw material buyers, workers’ representatives, civil society forces, investors and independent experts.”
“It is encouraging to witness the momentum of companies joining IRMA, supporting the initiative’s commitment to multi-stakeholder governance and transparency,” adds Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. “We welcome the Volkswagen’s Group membership and look forward to working with them as they leverage their significant global reach to advance more responsible mining practices.”
Since 2021, Volkswagen Group has been the first automotive company to report publicly in a separate report on the group-wide measures for responsible sourcing of 16 raw materials.