Joining and actively participating in industry initiatives allows companies to have a dialogue with peers, benefit from knowledge sharing platforms and combine efforts to tackle common challenges.

Existing initiatives 

  • Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), formerly the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI)
  • Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI)
  • Cobalt Institute - Responsible sourcing initiative in partnership with RCS Global
  • Global Battery Alliance, World Economic Forum
  • European Partnership for Responsible Minerals
  • Raw Materials Observatory - Drive Sustainability, partnership between automotive companies coordinated by CSR Europe

All these initiatives refer to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and work collaboratively to ensure that their objectives, plan of action and the tools made available to companies are aligned. It is particularly important that downstream companies across different sectors align their expectations towards upstream suppliers to avoid replicating compliance standards.

While companies may derive benefits from participating in a multi-stakeholder initiative, they still bear an individual responsibility to respect human rights in their supply chain. Therefore, membership alone cannot be considered evidence of proper risk mitigation.

Key questions for companies

  • Which initiatives in the cobalt space does the company find useful (or not)?
  • Is the company a member of any industry initiative related to the responsible sourcing of cobalt?

If yes…

  • In which multi-stakeholder or external partnerships is the company involved?
  • Can the company explain the rationale behind its choice?
  • How frequently and in what manner does the company intend to participate in the initiative (e.g. active participation, chair, founding member)?
  • Does membership require CEO and/or chairman endorsement?
  • What does the company seek to obtain through its participation?
  • Is the company actively contributing - or plan to contribute - to the activities of the initiative? If yes, in what manner?

If not…

  • What is the rationale behind the company fs choice not to get involved in any of the existing initiatives?
  • Has the company been conducting other forms of stakeholder engagement related to responsible sourcing of cobalt?