Responsible sourcing and supply
We responsibly source the commodities that advance everyday life through providing safe and quality-assured materials that meet regulatory requirements and industry standards, across the whole supply chain.
Through our Supplier Standards, we set out our expectations for ethical business practices, safety, health, human rights and environmental stewardship.
How does Glencore approach supply chain responsibility?
Responsible sourcing, or supply chain responsibility, is our commitment to take into account social, ethical and environmental considerations when managing our relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as to conduct due diligence on their supply chains and mitigation of human rights risks.
Our responsible sourcing strategy considers production, sourcing of metals and minerals and procuring goods and services. Our policy and standards framework captures our commitments and expectations.
We work collaboratively with experts, industry consortia, our peers and customers to understand fully the properties and potential impacts of our products throughout their supply chains and lifecycles.
Supply chain due diligence
Our customers are increasingly seeking assurance that their own supply chains do not have any links to human rights abuses.
Our Standards apply to any individual, organisation or company that provides, sells or leases materials directly to Glencore companies, including goods and services. The Standards form the base of our robust risk-based supply chain due diligence (SCDD) programme, which aligns with the
We are incorporating these Standards, by reference, into all of our supplier contracts.
Our approach supports the identification, prevention and mitigation of potentially adverse impacts that could negatively affect people, environment or company reputation. It ensures the responsible and ethical sourcing and production of the minerals and metals that we bring to market, as well as meeting external expectations and complying with regulations.
Our marketing teams source commodities from the industrial assets that we fully or partly own, as well as from third-party suppliers.
Our industrial assets work closely with our marketing teams, with our traders regularly visiting industrial sites. We promote cooperative networks within the Glencore Group to ensure we incorporate lifecycle management into all phases of production and sales. Our traders meet with our customers regularly to share advice on process safety and best practice.
It is an ongoing process to identify and address actual or potential risks in order to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts in our supply chain. We tailor the SCDD programme to work collaboratively with our suppliers to evaluate their business practices and support the realisation of the expectations set out in our Standards.
Our SCDD for minerals and metals volumes seeks to confirm that our suppliers operate in accordance with our Standards, as well as to confirm our suppliers do not knowingly tolerate, contribute to or profit from any of the OECD DDG ANNEX II risks. If a high level of risk is identified, we work with the supplier to determine appropriate corrective action until both parties agree the desired outcome has been achieved.
We are committed to purchasing products and services from suppliers that operate in a manner that is responsible, transparent and respects the human rights of all.
Our industrial assets are implementing systems and processes to ensure they are working with responsible suppliers.
We require all suppliers that have potentially high risks of human rights-related impacts within their supply chain to complete a self-assessment based on our Supplier Standards. If self-assessment identifies issues or unacceptable levels of risk, we agree with the affected supplier, prior to contracting, appropriate corrective actions and risk mitigation measures. We monitor progress and track implementation of performance KPIs.
Transportation and distribution
Our products move through the hands of many service providers, such as warehouses, land freight and shipping lines.
As each stage can have an impact on quality, we have quality controls at specific stages of the supply chain, especially loading and discharge locations. These controls form the backbone of our quality assurance programmes. Independent assessors or qualified Glencore people conduct the assurance, which an internationally accredited inspection organisation signs off.
We inform our workers, transporters and customers of the possible hazards of our products and which safety precautions they need to follow when handling, storing and transporting our product to prevent physical, personal and environmental harm. We provide this information in safety data sheets, which we update regularly and send to our customers.
We maintain over 7,000 safety datasheets covering all our products, including variants for different countries and legal entities. The datasheets reflect the classifications developed by industry associations and consortia; they provide information on the precautions workers should take during handling, as well as responsible storage and distribution.
They are available in all 24 official EU languages, plus others such as Mandarin, Japanese and Korean where appropriate.
We follow the UN globally harmonised system for classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS), the EU REACh regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals, and the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Responsible Gold guidance.
We participate in the REACh consortia related to the metals we produce; these include the consortia for zinc, cadmium, sulphuric acid, lead and precious metals. We also engage with external and internal stakeholders on this evolving topic.
We have strong relationships with a number of industry organisations. Our participation allow us to engage with our peers and downstream users of our products, as well as providing an opportunity to contribute to the development of industry standards.
Working with the Cobalt Institute
Glencore is one of the world’s leading producers and marketer of cobalt, a metal in rising demand due to its use in batteries for electric vehicles and portable electronics.
We produce cobalt mainly as a by-product of copper mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as from nickel mining in Australia and Canada.
Early in 2019, we worked with the on its Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework (CIRAF). This framework strengthens the ability of cobalt producers and buyers to assess, mitigate and report on responsible production and sourcing risks in their operations and supply chain.
The CIRAF also enables a more coherent and consistent approach to cobalt due diligence and reporting by the cobalt industry.
Glencore has supported the development of the CIRAF programme from the outset. In 2019, we piloted its self-assessment tool. Piloting the programme gave us the opportunity to asses our policies and systems against the CIRAF and multiple external expectations, as well as allowing us to gauge our responsible sourcing and operation practices.
We will report on our efforts regarding the risks identified by the CIRAF and utilise the CIRAF to develop more focused reporting on ethical practices in the cobalt supply chain.
Site audits with the Responsible Minerals Initiative
We are a member of the (RMI). The RMI is a respected resource for its 380 member companies, who seek to address responsible mineral sourcing issues in their supply chains. The RMI brings together many of our major customers.
We worked with the RMI to pilot its Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) at our Murrin Murrin nickel asset in Australia. The RMAP uses independent third-party assessments of smelter and refinery management systems and sourcing practices to validate conformance with RMAP standards.
RMAP standards meet the requirements of the OECD DDG, the Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and the U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The pilot assessed Murrin Murrin’s level of conformance with the RMAP Cobalt Standard. The assessment demonstrated that Murrin Murrin’s due diligence management system conforms, in all material aspects, to the requirements of the standard.
Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA)
The FCA’s mission is to transform positively artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and work towards eliminating child and forced labour, as well as other dangerous practices. Through its partners in the DRC, the FCA aims to tackle long-standing challenges within the ASM sector. Its objectives include achieving a child-labour free Kolwezi, supporting the professionalisation of ASM through the adoption of responsible mining practices, and identifying and supporting alternative livelihoods to help increase incomes and reduce poverty.
We are already committed to working with our local communities and other stakeholders in the DRC to address the endemic poverty in this region that is the underlying cause of ASM. Glencore, through our support of the FCA, will support legitimate ASM cooperatives in their endeavours to transform their practices and align with international human rights practices, especially in the prevention of child labour.
Case study: Responsibly sourcing cobalt in the DRC
Engaging in blockchain networks
Traceability is an important enabler for the promotion of responsible practices in supply chains, and blockchain technology offers an effective platform for this.
During 2019, we became one of seven leading mining and metals companies to join forces to accelerate responsible sourcing of raw materials with the World Economic Forum. The Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative will explore the building of a blockchain platform to address transparency, the tracking and tracing of materials, the reporting of carbon emissions or increasing efficiency.
The initiative aims to be a neutral enabler for the industry, addressing the lack of standardisation and improving efficiency and trust between upstream and downstream partners.
In 2021, we joined the metals and mining companies CMOC and Eurasian Resources Group, as well as the battery material supplier Umicore, to pilot ReISource, a solution to trace responsibly produced cobalt from the mine to the electric car. A global EV pioneer and one of the world’s leading battery makers are also part of the pilot. Tested in real operating conditions, from upstream cobalt production facilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to downstream electric vehicle production sites, the pilot will run until the end of 2021, with the roll-out of the final solution expected in 2022.
Ongoing engagement with the London Metal Exchange
The approach looks at the supply chain’s transparency and custody. The LME expects refineries to establish frameworks that comply with this requirement by mid-2022.
The LME also requires registered brands to undergo a number of assessments, including independent third-party audits of supply chain due diligence and ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001/ ISO 45001 certifications, or equivalent, by the end of 2023.