Ford has become the first US automaker to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (Irma), a move which the company says is another step in realising its aspiration to responsibly source all raw materials used within its vehicles globally.
Ford has also committed to nearly double its investment in electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable mobility. That work will increase the company’s reliance on mined material, particularly related to production of EV batteries.
Irma works to advance responsible mining practices, providing third-party verification and certification against comprehensive environmental and social criteria for all mined materials.
The global standard was developed more than a decade ago, in consultation with about 100 stakeholder groups including mining companies, affected communities, nongovernmental organisations, labour groups and purchasing companies using mined materials.
The standard covers all mined materials, except for energy fuels.
“Everything we make and everything that goes into our products throughout the supply chain must not only comply with local laws, but follow our commitment to sustainability and human rights protection,” says Ford purchasing director for supply chain sustainability Sue Slaughter.
The company states that its work with Irma will support collaborative work with cross-industry brands so that together, the industry can communicate to mining companies consistent, clear, shared expectations for responsible practices.