BMW Group has become the first member of the automotive sector to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (Irma).
Irma is a global certification programme for industrial-scale mine sites and is based on the growing awareness and demand for ecologically and socially responsible products, which sees various sectors seeking assurances that the minerals they buy are mined responsibly.
The initiative measures the performance of mine sites against its Standard for Responsible Mining, which seeks to emulate for industrial-scale mine sites what has been done with certification programmes in organic agriculture, responsible forestry and sustainable fisheries.
As a member of this initiative, BMW Group will participate in Irma’s programme to transform the industrial mining sector towards more responsible practices.
Other members of the initiative include a variety of stakeholders in the mining supply chain or that are affected by mining, including buyers of mined materials, labour unions, nonprofit organisations, mining companies and mining-affected communities.
Sustainability is an importance aspect of BMW’s corporate strategy, board member Dr Andreas Wendt commented in a statement on Wednesday.
According to him, for BMW Group and its stakeholders, “it is of the utmost importance that environmental and social standards are adhered to throughout the entire value chain”.
He added that BMW Group believes that Irma would “contribute to enhancing responsibility in global value chains” while simultaneously improving environmental and social performance.
While the Standard for Responsible Mining is intended to complement, not replace, strong laws and regulations, where policy or regulation is lacking, the Irma Standard is said to have the ability to fill the void to align with and, in some cases, bolster government regulations, helping to increase transparency in the mining sector.