Mercedes-Benz: No Human Rights Violations And Environmental Destruction

German Mercedes-Benz only purchases batteries containing so-called good cobalt and lithium.

On the 12th , Benz issued a statement to encourage ethical and eco-friendly cobalt and lithium mining in a mine with the’Responsible Mining Standard’ of the’Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)’. It was decided to use only the batteries that were mined.

With the recent increase in electric vehicle demand, the demand for cobalt and lithium, core materials for batteries, is also increasing. However, various illegal activities are revealed in the mines that mine them.

For example, cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which account for 60% of the world’s cobalt supply, are known to have committed various illegal activities, including child labor exploitation, illegal mine operation, human rights violations, and corruption.

In response to this news, more and more companies started to participate in ethical cobalt production. Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, BMW, and BASF launched an industrial cooperation project last year for good cobalt mining. This is to conduct research on improving the living and working environment of the Congo cobalt mine and surrounding communities for 3 years.

At the beginning of last year, LG Chem jointly conducted a pilot project to secure transparency in the production process by applying blockchain technology to the cobalt supply chain in collaboration with IBM, Ford, China, Huayu Cobalt, and RCS Global in the UK. Signed up.

When you join RMI, you will be provided with a variety of information related to the supply chain, such as the origin of high-risk minerals such as conflict minerals and cobalt secured by RMI, and smelters. Through this, a system can be established to purchase minerals that do not cause human rights problems such as child exploitation and environmental problems. SK Innovation joined RMI in February.

A miner works in a cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Mercedes-Benz decided to buy only batteries containing good cobalt and lithium. However, there is still no cobalt mine with IRMA’s responsible mining standards, so work is underway to excavate it.

Benz is working with IRMA and RCS Global to study an approach that allows limited cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to be audited in accordance with the many specific requirements of the IRMA standard for responsible mining.

This approach aims to establish realistic expectations of mining suppliers in the medium term, while encouraging increasingly responsible practices. A considerable amount of time is required to achieve this level.

In addition, Benz plans to supply only batteries with less than 10% cobalt content from next-generation batteries, and in the long term, batteries without cobalt at all.

The policy is to make the supply chain of all materials used in batteries transparent by checking whether there are materials produced in an unethical manner, as well as cobalt and lithium, and taking measures accordingly.

“We will in the future ask our battery suppliers to supply only batteries with cobalt and lithium extracted from certified sources,” said Markus Schaefer, Daimler Group Research Director and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cass. The agreement will only work with suppliers.”

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