Netherlands-based insurer AnsvarIdéa has become a member of the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), a multistakeholder action platform that is committed to developing responsible and fair supply of artisanal mined cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
AnsvarIdéa is the first company to join the FCA that is not directly involved in the cobalt production supply chain.
Dr Assheton Carter, executive director at the FCA, commented: "AnsvarIdéa can be proud to be the first company outside the immediate cobalt supply chain and the first insurer to join and support us. In doing so, it joins the pioneers who have taken a bold step in assuming responsibility and making investments, in line with our shared belief that responsible business starts with taking responsibility.
"Their commitment to the FCA is evidence that companies in the wider cobalt value chain acknowledge the challenges that the ASM [artisanal and small-scale mining] sector faces and recognise the role of collaborative action and positive impact to drive a fairer cobalt supply."
Peter van Geijtenbeek, CEO of AnsvarIdéa, said that as a sustainable insurer, AnsvarIdéa looks for opportunities to make a difference. He noted that electric vehicles (EVs) have a different energy source and technology to traditional vehicles which means they also have different risks. Earlier this year, the company developed a special EV insurance policy to address these risks.
"We realise that the electrification of the vehicle fleet is essential for the creation of a sustainable society and that cobalt mining will remain necessary for the foreseeable future," he added. "As the cobalt supply chain is not transparent, you do not know whether and, if so, how much of the cobalt in your battery comes from ASMs. In this sense, customers who buy electric cars seemingly undermine their own sustainability ambitions, and by insuring these cars, we would be undermining ours. As their insurer, we feel partly responsible for this, and we want to contribute to addressing and perhaps eventually even solving these complex issues."
According to van Geijtenbeek, AnsvarIdéa recognises the challenges of associating with this issue, but the company believes it is a necessary and important step towards resolution and supporting positive impact for ASM.
He stated that AnsvarIdéa's partnership with and support of the FCA is compliant with OECD guidelines and contributes to its sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular: Goal 1, No poverty; Goal 3, Good health and well-being; Goal 4, Quality education; Goal 6, Clean water and sanitation; Goal 7, Affordable and clean energy; Goal 8, Decent work and economic growth; Goal 12, Responsible consumption and production; Goal 13, Climate action; and Goal 17, Partnerships for the goals.