UK battery cell technologies company Britishvolt has joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), which is committed to developing responsible and fair artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) cobalt supply in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The FCA is a multistakeholder action platform that brings together participants from across the cobalt mineral supply chain to improve the lives of mining communities in the DRC.
This is achieved through strategies that improve vital health and safety conditions at artisanal cobalt mining sites, address and remediate child labour, promote more transparent cobalt remuneration and extend greater opportunities to local ASM communities through fostering entrepreneurship inside and outside the mines.
“This is a great initiative to be part of. Britishvolt has a very clear and defined ambition to create one of the best-in-class environmental, social and governance (ESG) frameworks. By joining the FCA, we aim to reduce environmental impact, improve working conditions for miners and support action that redirects children to school and education in the DRC,” says Britishvolt ESG head Craig Woodburn.
“Britishvolt believes it is the responsibility of the entire battery industry, including manufacturers, to ensure everyone involved is treated with respect and given the right opportunities. Collaboration is of vital importance to ensure success for all.”
The company joins other stakeholders including electric vehicle company Tesla, mining major Glencore and ASM development organisation The Impact Facility in the FCA.
“Only by joining forces throughout the cobalt supply chain can we address and reverse these complex negative social and environmental impacts,” the FCA says.
“The FCA drives the development of fair cobalt by supporting the professionalisation of ASM site management, ensuring an uptake of responsible mining practices and channelling financial investment into mine improvements, with the goal of making mines safer, minimising their environmental impact and creating decent working conditions for men and women working at the mines.”
“We welcome Britishvolt to the FCA. The business complements our growing membership and represents the breadth of stakeholders in the cobalt value chain that we are able to bring together,” says FCA executive director Dr Assheton Carter.
“It is a bold step for a company starting out to make this commitment. We look forward to seeing how Britishvolt’s role in the FCA helps to shape its corporate social responsibility strategy now and in the future.”