Wednesday, November 15, 2017

According to Amnesty Industry giants fail to tackle child labour allegations in cobalt battery supply chains

According to Amnesty International, major electronics and electric vehicle companies are still not doing enough to stop human rights abuses entering their cobalt supply chains, almost two years after an Amnesty International investigation exposed how batteries used in their products could be linked to child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the organization said today.

- Survey of electronics and car companies shows major blind spots in supply chains
- Apple is the industry leader for responsible cobalt sourcing – but the bar is low
- Microsoft, Lenovo and Renault have made least progress



RATING COMPANIES
All possible actions taken None
Adequate action taken Apple - Samsung SDI
Moderate action taken Dell - HP - BMW - Tesla - LG Chem
Minimal action taken Sony -Samsung Electronics - General Motors - Volkswagen - Fiat-Chrysler - Daimler - Hunan Shanshan - Amperex Technology - Tianjin Lishen
No action taken Microsoft - Lenovo - Renault - Vodafone - Huawei - L&F - Tianjin B&M - BYD - Coslight - Shenzhan BAK - ZTE


 Movement of cobalt, from mine to global market [Source: Amnesty International]

In parallel ther are roports on price of Cobalt "Cobalt Prices to Rocket" : The Democratic Republic of Congo supplies some 60 percent of the world's cobalt- a desperately sought after metal that is the driver of our electric vehicle (EV) boom and the fodder of battery gigafactories popping up all over the world.

Buyers are under growing pressure to give up conflict cobalt and find new sources, but the timing is tough. Major automakers and battery manufacturers are scrambling to secure supplies of cobalt. Prices are soaring, and demand can only move in one direction - up.

One company in the heart of the Cobalt supply chain that do care a lot about fair and ethical sourcing of Cobalt is Umicore, please see previous report ebout their supply chain here - Umicore's pioneering approach to ethical cobalt sourcing for CVD/ALD precursors [LINK].

An industry that is not included here in the Amnesty study that has been using wast amounts of Cobalt for a long time is for instance the cemented carbide industry for hard metal tooling.

Sources:

Amnesty International - Industry giants fail to tackle child labour allegations in cobalt battery supply chains
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/11/industry-giants-fail-to-tackle-child-labour-allegations-in-cobalt-battery-supply-chains/

Cobalt Prices to Rocket as Tech Giants Scramble for Supplies
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cobalt-prices-to-rocket-as-tech-giants-scramble-for-supplies-657690933.html

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