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VW Decides To Join Sustainable Mining Initiative To Have Sustainable Supply

VW Decides To Join Sustainable Mining Initiative To Have Sustainable Supply
German car maker Volkswagen has decided to joined an organisation that sets environmental and social criteria in mining. This move is a part of the strategy of the second-largest automaker of the world to ramp up efforts to ensure that its raw materials, particularly in electric vehicles, are sustainable (EVs).
Shareholders and customers are putting increasing pressure on large corporations to fulfil tighter environmental, social, and governance criteria (ESG).
VW informed the media ahead of an announcement later on Thursday that it is the largest member firm by revenue to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).
General Motors and Ford are among the IRMA's other members.
"In many cases, it is not the Volkswagen Group itself that is going to purchase the raw materials," said Murat Aksel, VW's board member for purchasing. "But we want to know where they come from and under what conditions they are mined and processed."
Buyers and producers of minerals, investors, labour unions, community groups, and independent specialists are all members of IRMA, which was founded in 2006.
VW announced in December that it is ramping up EV production and has increased spending in the field by about half to 52 billion euros, compared to the previous five-year rolling investment plan.
Because the majority of production comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a big informal sector with a history of unsafe working practises and child labour, cobalt, a vital component in EV batteries, has been a particular focus.
VW is working with a mine operator in Congo on a trial project to test new certification requirements set by another organisation, CERA, according to Aksel.
VW also backed a European push to produce local sources of essential minerals, with the top priority being rare earth magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines, he said.
"The development of sustainable supply chains for raw materials is a core strategic goal for us. We believe that strengthening our European supplier network plays an important role in this," he said, without giving details.
Volkswagen and Daimler initiated a research in 2020 to advocate for greater "sustainable" lithium mining in Chile, which is another crucial component of electric vehicles.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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