This week, the European Commission and the Raw Materials Supply Group have published the EU principles for sustainable raw materials.
U principles have been developed by the Raw Materials Supply Group, of which industriAll Europe is a member. They are applicable to the extraction and processing stages of non-energy raw materials and to the entire minerals value chain’s lifecycle, from exploration to post-closure. They cover social, economic, governance and environmental principles and refer to EU legislation concerning sustainability and also internationally agreed sustainable raw materials extraction and processing initiatives.
As they are not mandatory, industriAll Europe is calling for a legally binding EU instrument in the form of a European Directive on mandatory human rights (including workers’ and trade union rights) and environmental obligations due diligence to ensure their strong enforcement.
In terms of social performance, the EU principles support human rights, communities and sound governance, including constructive and active dialogue with the communities and workers concerned. They also support decent work for the workforce, through improving worker’s health and safety, skills and respect for worker’s rights, in line with ILO.
IndustriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary, Judith Kirton-Darling, stresses: “These principles, while defining sustainable raw materials on a social, environmental and governance level, are important, but have to be seen a first step. As they are not binding – neither for Member-States nor for companies - this will not be enough to assure that domestic extraction is really subject to environmental and social standards. This is why we also need a strong legal instrument on mandatory due diligence.”