Join us!

Is your company extracting, producing, processing, refining or recycling metals or other metallurgical materials? And do you want to gain a better understanding of how your operations and sourcing practices can impact people and the environment in supply chains? Are you willing to work with fellow industry actors and other stakeholders to realise more responsible supply chains? Then the agreement is the right instrument for you.

You can, together with the government, trade unions, NGOs, industry associations and other companies, work towards a more transparent supply chain to identify, mitigate and/or address impacts and risks present in the sourcing and production of metals. This is done by supporting companies in following guidelines and principles on due diligence as laid down in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

Why join us?

Benefits of joining

As a participant in agreement, your company will:

  • Positive contribution to society and progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Gain a positive reputation in relation to sustainability practices.
  • Comply with (future) legislation on international RBC.
  • Have access to tools and it will receive support by experts to implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
  • Have more leverage in the supply chain in getting actors to address (potential) human rights and environmental risks.
  • Have access to a strong network of relevant stakeholders and experts in the metals sector.

The necessity

The metals sector is known to run a greater risk of violating human rights, fundamental labour rights and environmental and biodiversity standards and of impacting local communities adversely. Metal and mineral supply chains often lack transparency. First of all, there are many different raw materials to keep track of and many different methods of extracting, processing and trading them. On top of this, the political, administrative and socio-economic situation in production countries can make it difficult to trace raw materials, complicating the process of identifying and managing potential risks in the chain.

Society expects companies, including those in the metals sector, to take responsibility and to contribute to the well-being of people and the natural environment. That responsibility goes far beyond their own activities in the supply chain. Companies need to know what is happening throughout the entire chain. The more transparent the chain is, the more companies can work to prevent, mitigate and, if needed, remediate adverse impacts on human rights and the environment, and the better the reputation of the industry and individual companies will be.

No one company, industry association or civil society organisation (NGOs and trade unions) can solve the complex problems in the supply chain on its own. It can only be done by uniting and working together. The agreement aids companies in intensifying their international RBC efforts with the help of industry associations, civil society organisations and government.

What is expected from you?

You are expected to actively participate in implementing the agreement. You are also expected to implement due diligence in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. You will have access to the due diligence instruments to help you along the way. A representative of your organisation is expected to attend general assembly meetings and to join at least one working group. Companies are also expected to make an annual financial contribution.

Companies, irrespective of size, organization type, or level of knowledge on international responsible business conduct, are welcome to join the agreement.

More information and contact

An organisation wishing to join the agreement may request an informal introductory meeting with the Secretariat of International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector by using the contact link on the website or sending an e-mail to metaalconvenant@ser.nl.

Continue reading?

Download our brochure  with more information about what the agreement can mean for your organisation.