Taking Joint Action Towards Fair Cobalt

Cobalt is a critical resource for many industries and is seen, by many, as crucial for a transition to a green economy. More than 50% of the world’s cobalt are held in the Copper Belt of the DR Congo, a country still struggling with poverty and malnutrition despite its mineral wealth. Reports about systemic child labour in the ASM sector, corruption allegations around large scale mining and fatal accidents, however, are attesting to the challenges and complexity of the sector.

Realising that many of the challenges attributed to the sector are too big to be addressed by individual companies or NGOs, we and our partners Fairphone, HuayouCobalt, Signify and other committed & potential future industry partners with whom we are developing an action platform to facilitate direct engagement, share learnings and data and invest right in the communities on the ground.

Our intention is to grow this into an action network across industries and supply chain tiers, by offering and organisation the chance to join our efforts of co-creating a responsible cobalt sector.

The principle aim of our coalition is to….

  1. improve the safety and security of men and women working at artisanal mining sites,
  2. drastically reduce the occurrence of child labour,
  3. bolster the protection of children’s rights and access to education, and
  4. create opportunities for alternative non-mining livelihoods

….through a practical and progressive programme in mining communities.

The Impact Facility is a global sustainability organisation that seeks to bring economic and environmental empowerment to local mining economies, and especially artisanal and small-scale mining communities. The Impact Facility’s purpose is to provide mining communities with access to the technical assistance, markets, capital and equipment that enable the building of diverse local economies through viable and thriving small- and medium-sized businesses. We pursue business-driven engagement between supply chain partners to build viable long-term sourcing relationships. Our vision is for communities endowed with mineral wealth to have the means to grow a sustainable and just economy that is catalysed by – rather than relying on – mining.

In the coming weeks, we will start sharing our plans, tools and resources and invite you to get involved. Only by adopting a landscape approach, targeting the entire region, real change can come about. We believe that responsible sourcing is not done by isolating and monitoring individual mines, but by taking collective action to address the root issues at hand.

Get in touch if you want to learn more about the coalition and discuss how to get involved.