First annual progress report International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector published

The Parties that concluded the International Responsible Business Conduct Agreement for the Metals Sector has published its first annual progress report.

First annual progress report International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector published © Tata Steel B.V.

In the first implementation year, the parties focus has been to put in place processes and systems on due diligence that will enable the companies to begin, or continue, building responsible supply chains. The parties also utilised the first year to build constructive working relationships with each other, the supporting organisations, the chairperson and the independent secretariat, hosted by the Dutch Social and Economic Council.

An important product was collaboratively developed by the parties: the due diligence toolbox. It includes various tools and templates which companies can use to implement due diligence in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Two due diligence sessions were organised for the companies to assist them with starting their due diligence journey. Furthermore, several events were organised to attract international attention for the Metals Agreement, for example during the London Metals Exchange Week.

The global breakout of COVID-19 had a substantial impact on the implementation of the Metals Agreement. Extensions of deliverables were necessary for some companies to meet their due diligence obligations. These deadlines have been extended to the second year. Also several events aimed to attract new companies to join the Metals Agreement, have been cancelled or postponed.

The Metals Agreement came into effect on 1 July 2019. It was signed by a total of sixteen parties – seven companies, two ministries, two industry associations, five civil society organizations – and six supporting organisations.

Maurits Derksen (Independent chair of the International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector): “It was more than a pleasure working with the parties and supporting organisations on the Metals Agreement over the last year. Most importantly, I’m glad that after a year, the parties confirm the Metals Agreement as being relevant to their organisations in the goal towards a more responsible metals supply chain. I look forward to intensively supporting the Metals Agreement to deliver great results in year 2.”