BMW backs responsible mining

German car-maker BMW has joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, making it the first auto-company to sign up to the programme that aims to promote ecologically and socially responsible mining supply chains
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BMW is the first auto manufacturer to sign up to IRMA

Staff reporter

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is a non-profit organisation that purports to measure the performance of mine sites against its standard for responsible mining, and certifies mines based on their adherence to best practices.

These include health and safety for workers, human rights, community engagement, pollution control, mining in conflict-affected areas, rights of indigenous peoples, transparency in revenue payments from companies to governments, and land reclamation.

IRMA was founded in 2006 by a group of NGOs, resources businesses, community representatives and labour unions. Members include Microsoft, Tiffany & Co, labour unions IndustriALL Global Union and United Steelworkers, as well as miners Anglo American and ArcelorMittal.

"Sustainability is an important aspect of our corporate strategy and we are fully aware of our responsibility in mineral value chains," said BMW board member Andreas Wendt, who is responsible for purchasing and supplier networks.

"For the BMW Group and its stakeholders, it is of the utmost importance that environmental and social standards are adhered to throughout the entire value chain. Raw materials form the basis for every industrial production process and our need will continue to grow accordingly.

"We believe that IRMA, with its ambitious certification standard, will contribute to enhancing responsibility in global value chains and improving environmental and social performance."

IRMA is not to be confused with the RSBN, a similar but separate initiative which also aims to encourage responsible sourcing in the minerals supply chain. It signed up Ford and Volkswagen ahead of its planned launch in spring 2020.