Material change: a study of risks and opportunities for collective action in the materials supply chains of the automotive and electronics industries

Environmental, social and governance issues associated with corporate supply chains and the sourcing of materials used in the manufacture of industrial and consumer products are subject to increasing scrutiny.

Regulators, investors, consumers and environmental and human-rights groups are appealing to companies to complete and publicly disclose the results of supplier due diligence as well as include commitments to social responsibility in their sourcing policies. Drive Sustainability and the Responsible Minerals Initiative recognise that collaborative action between businesses, across industries, and with governments and civil society is a powerful tool to address some of the serious social and environmental problems affecting workers and communities in countries where many of these materials originate.

Navigating the path to achieve this is not simple, however. The supply chains of businesses today are highly complex. They extend to multiple tiers, and to thousands of suppliers operating across the globe. Significant volumes of materials are sourced from countries with weak governance or where resource production is sometimes associated with adverse environmental and social impacts.

One of the biggest obstacles to setting and implementing strategies for responsible sourcing is getting access to reliable current data and analysis on the environmental and social dimensions of material production and processing. 'Material Change' aims to positively contribute by gathering and presenting the best publicly available information on materials commonly used in the automotive and electronics industries.



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