ResponsibleSteel and the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance join forces
The Initiative of Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), a global platform that will strive to create a multi-stakeholder and independently verified responsible mining assurance system that will imrpvoe social and environmental performance, has announced a strategic partnership that will significantly advance that cause.
In a partnership with ResponsibleSteel, IRMA together with the company will serve the interests of purcharsers seeking clarity and consistency in the responsible sourcing of iron and steel throughout supply chains.
The objectives of the partnership are twofold;
- To create value for companies implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices from the source of the mined raw material, through the steel supply chain and to the final product.
- To assure purchasers and investors seeking more consistency in responsibility standards that ResponsibleSteel™ and IRMA are responsive to this need and actively working to provide aligned solutions.
“Steel is a key component for thousands of the products that make our lives possible, from building materials to automobiles,” said Aimee Boulanger, Coordinator for IRMA.
Leading purchasers and manufacturers are seeking consistent environmental and social responsibility in their sourcing throughout the supply chain. Through our collaboration IRMA and ResponsibleSteel™ will serve the needs of downstream purchasers of steel, and assure accountability from mine to market.”
In the modern mining industry where transparency in the supply chain and legal frameworks are under intense scrutiny, this deal represents a key event that may very well be felt the world over.
Matt Dransfield, Managing Director for ResponsibleSteel™, said, “Our mission is to provide businesses and consumers worldwide with confidence that the steel they use has been sourced and produced responsibly, from suppliers of raw materials, through to end users. This can only be achieved through cooperation and mutual commitment of companies at all levels of the steel supply chain, their customers and representatives of civil society.”
And in news that will only encourage the industry to follow suit, ResponsibleSteel and IRMA are looking for partners to achieve a consistent shared goal of social and environmental responsibility.
“As we develop the ResponsibleSteel™ standard in consultation with our multi-stakeholder membership, key themes that have come through are ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ and ‘form effective partnerships’. Our new partnership with IRMA provides a leading response to these requests for collaboration. We will actively seek further collaboration with others that share our goal to increase market value for comprehensive environmental and social responsibility,” he said.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.