Our commitment to understanding the properties of our products, and their full impact, is enshrined in our Group product stewardship policy.
We aim to deliver competitively-priced commodities that meet our stakeholders’ needs and contribute to global society, while progressively reducing any associated risks.
Spreading understanding of our products
We work continuously with experts, industry consortia and our peers to study the properties and impacts of our products throughout their lifecycles. This helps us to ensure that our products conform to international standards and to control any risk to the environment or human health. This focus on healthy workplaces is in line with our new health strategy.
We share with regulators what we know about the impact of our products throughout their lifecycles. This includes ongoing engagement with regulators around the world on climate change legislation as well as occupational health and safety regulations and environmental legislation.
Product safety and other properties
We use this information to maintain over 7,000 safety datasheets covering all our products. These reflect the classifications developed by consortia such as the REACH regulation they provide information that includes occupational exposure limits and the precautions workers should take during handling.
7,000+ safety datasheets
Our safety datasheets are available in all 24 official EU languages, plus others such as Mandarin, Japanese and Korean where appropriate. Our centralised database is integrated with many of our regions’ sales and marketing systems, allowing them to automatically issue datasheets to customers on purchase. If a Glencore marketer attempts to bring a product into one of these ports without REACH clearance, our product stewardship team is automatically alerted, allowing them to check the product before shipping.
Informing the supply chain
We share our understanding of our product value chains and the associated risks with our peers, customers and other stakeholders. We help our customers implement their own material stewardship strategies, inform them of regulatory decision-making and generally help minimise risk to human health and the environment.
Informing customers and meeting commitments
For instance, we provide customers from the US electronics industry with documentation to help them ensure their compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act. We provide similar evidence to support compliance with other legislation, such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and REACH.
We complement our Group compliance programme with site-specific programmes to meet local or product-specific regulations. For example CCR, our refinery in Montreal, Canada, introduced a policy and procedures for responsible global supply chain management in 2012 to demonstrate that its gold is conflict-free and complies with high anti-money laundering standards. The policy also complies with guidelines from the OECD and the LMBA Responsible Gold Guidance.
Coming full circle
We also bring learnings from other stakeholders back to our operations and assets. This includes continual improvement of our facilities and procedures to allow for the potential health impacts of production activities. In one example, the discovery that exposure to nickel compounds may increase the risk of lung and nasal cavity cancer has led to changes in the way we protect workers at our nickel mines and refineries.
Supporting innovation in product efficiency and safety
We actively support research and innovation via industry consortia, including representation on the boards of the Nickel Consortium Group and Cobalt REACH Consortium. We work with REACH authorities and the International Maritime Organisation to contribute to materials testing and general understanding of the hazards associated with ore and concentrate shipping.
Products that we trade or produce are subject to risk-based contaminant monitoring to ensure they comply with applicable legislation.
Regulatory changes are actively followed up to ensure we continue to comply with applicable legislation.
Working with industry groups: examples
Our agricultural assets in Canada and Australia work closely with industry groups to address increasing global demand for safe, reliable food sources. We participate in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) and are part of Australia’s National Working Party on Grain Protection, Grain Industry Market Access Forum, and its Grain and Plant Product Export Industry Consultative Committee; we actively support the Plant Biosecurity Corporate Research Centre, which studies the integrity of harvested grain.
Our agricultural trading offices and production assets comply with standards that include Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP+) for animal feed; the European Code of Good Trading Practice; ISO quality management certifications; and FSSC 22000 Food Safety System certification. When we introduce a new quality management standard at our assets, we work with leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies.
Ensuring integrated product management throughout our value chain
We are committed to addressing product safety considerations in all our extraction and production processes. This includes efforts to minimise greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use and to maximise reuse of our waste products.
Our industrial assets work closely with our marketing teams, with our traders regularly visiting industrial sites. We promote cooperative networks within the Group to ensure that lifecycle management is incorporated in all phases of production and sales. Our traders meet with our customers regularly to share advice on process safety and good practice.