During LME week, ITA’s Head of Sustainability Kay Nimmo participated in a breakfast session co-organised by the Secretariat of the International Responsible Business Conduct (“IRBC”) Agreement for the Metals Sector and the Embassy of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom to discuss progressing and scaling up responsible sourcing efforts in the metals sector.

ITA, our Belgium based tin recycling member company Metallo, and ITA Director and President of Malaysian Chamber of Mines took part in the multi-stakeholder meeting alongside representatives from metals trading companies and logistics service providers, smelters, semi-product manufacturers, metal financing institutions, the London Metals Exchange (LME) and a Dutch trade union. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on how the Dutch initiated Agreement for the metals sector can complement and support existing efforts on responsible sourcing for mining and metals companies including the ITA’s Code of Conduct and the LME responsible sourcing requirements for brands.

Participants recognised the added value of the Agreement in being among the first to build on requirements introduced in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (“MNEs”), which covers risk-based due diligence on issues beyond responsible sourcing from conflict-affected and high risk areas (CAHRAs). In doing so, the Agreement follows the same approach as the ITA’s tin Code of Conduct in selecting a wide scope for sustainability-reporting and engaging with companies from throughout the supply chain from mining to smelting and recycling.

Kay Nimmo said: “We recognise that there is much work to do but also that the tin sector is not alone. Our goals are well aligned with the International RBC Metals Agreement…by supporting the cooperation we hope to both share our knowledge and experiences and also learn from others. In particular what metal users expect from their mineral supply chain and, how the entire supply chain can work collaboratively to most effectively bring about positive change through practical activities and real leverage.”

Key recommendations:

  • Fair distribution of due diligence costs and achieving a level playing field for responsibly sourcing companies
  • Raising awareness among customers to address and leverage risks
  • Increase uniformity and work towards the harmonisation of standards

The IRBC Agreement will provide a new platform for companies with tailored guidance and tools for conducting risk-based due diligence and serves as a forum for sharing best-practices.

For more information on this event and the Agreement, visit https://www.imvoconvenanten.nl/en/metals-sector