Volkswagen joins initiative for responsible mining


The Volkswagen Group has joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA). The initiative works to establish strict standards for the responsible mining of raw materials.

IRMA is an alliance of non-governmental organisations, trade unions, affected local communities, investors, mine operators and raw materials customers, which claims to have more than 50 members. Volkswagen is not the first representative from the automotive industry, however: BMW was the first car manufacturer to join at the beginning of 2020, followed later in 2020 by Mercedes-Benz. The US companies Ford and GM are also listed as members. Volkswagen, however, describes itself as the “company with the highest turnover” that has joined IRMA.

The IRMA standards cover the protection of human rights and the rights of local communities, the exclusion of corruption, measures to protect the health of workers and affected local communities, workplace safety and environmental protection – specifically, for example, groundwater protection or age checks at the entrance to the mines. The focus is on both industrial mining and the processing industry. VW states that it intends to anchor the IRMA standards “step by step in its own battery supply chains”.

“The path to transparent and sustainable supply chains leads directly to the mine. That’s why we welcome the establishment of clear rules,” says Murat Aksel, who is responsible for purchasing on the VW group board. “Such standards are all the more effective the more consistently they are defined and the more partners adhere to them.” Volkswagen has already introduced a mandatory sustainability ranking for all relevant direct business partners in 2019 and since 2020 the complete supply chain up to the mine must be disclosed for all new contracts for battery raw materials. But these were VW’s own requirements, not international standards.

This is now set to change: “IRMA brings together all the important players: The raw material suppliers, the raw material buyers, workers’ representatives, civil society forces, investors and independent experts,” says Aksel.

“It is encouraging to witness the momentum of companies joining IRMA, supporting the initiative’s commitment to multi-stakeholder governance and transparency,” says Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. “We welcome the Volkswagen Groups’ membership and look forward to working with them as they leverage their significant global reach to advance more responsible mining practices.”


about „Volkswagen joins initiative for responsible mining“
William Tahil
17.03.2022 um 16:01
You should be getting your lithium from brine then should you not Mr Diess, not spodumene, and using LFP or LiMnO2 batteries without nickel or cobalt as was originally planned by the nascent EV industry in 2005 before "Tesla" thought it was clever to use consumer LiIon batteries in cars.
Kellen Dommague
18.03.2022 um 10:14
Ford, VW group, BMW...and yet there's the leading US EV manufacturer noticeably absent from the list. Hmmm.

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