From blockchain to reporting, where's the frontier for minerals transparency?

2018-04-19

Back in Paris for the OECD Forum on Responsible Minerals, joining 700+ responsible minerals pros to discuss progress, challenges and the transparency frontier.

Chiara Selvetti
Chiara Selvetti Hållbarhetschef

It’s been a year since the latest Forum on Responsible Minerals Supply Chain, a year I spent focusing on two huge projects – my two babies Atea Sustainability Focus and Carolina, my second daughter, who is enjoying being home with her dad.

And I am back in Paris to get a full update on minerals, risks and progress as well as crucially, to discuss reporting and transparency, in line with the recommendations of the ASF advisory board.

As I wrote in last year’s blog, the minerals ‘sector’ has matured significantly over the last decade. Efforts to increase transparency between upstream (traders and smelter) and downstream companies (the brands and their suppliers) have proved that responsible sourcing is possible and that it can lead to concrete improvements for people on the ground.

The journey is however far from over – and sadly the political misfortunes of the Democratic Republic of Congo may reverse some of the recent gains. This is why I am glad that dr. Denis Mukwege will be joining us as keynote speaker at ASF Forum. His passion and experience will bring alive the challenges we still face.

Beyond the Congo, companies and other stakeholders are broadening their focus from conflict minerals towards a more encompassing due diligence that includes emerging risks and their broader impacts on people and planet. Needless to say, much of this year’s forum focused on cobalt and on mica.

Gladly, transparency is the talk of the week! Technology might help, including blockchain to support traceability, to make existing schemes more effective. The consensus is strongest around the need to improve public reporting. In our daily systematic work with supply chain, we see how quality, standardization and comparability need to improve and it is great to see RBA in the driving seat of a new initiative on minerals transparency and reporting, jointly with GRI, the leading sustainability reporting standard setter.

I believe it is not by chance that this initiative is gathering momentum now. Atea Sustainability Focus, with its clear recommendations to establish a common reporting framework for the industry’s material issues, is providing a welcome boost to RBAs ambition and plans.

While I am here, beyond confirming that RBA will indeed be joining us in Almedalen, I have also invited GRI – the Global Reporting Initiative to join us and present the objectives of this initiative on minerals transparency.

So, what can you do to help set the agenda for the global IT industry?

  • Register and participate in the annual dialogue www.atea.se/asf  
  • Join us at ASF Foum – sneak preview: beyond our keynote guest Denis Mukwege, RBA and GRI, Mattias Goldmann, CEO at Fores will deliver a keynote at our Forum mingle at Kallis. The members of the ASF advisory board will also join us. I hope to see you in Almedalen!