International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector participates in consultation SDG Zinc Sector Roadmap

UNICEF, Terre des Hommes, and the Dutch Trade Union CNV participated in an online stakeholder consultation of the International Zinc Association (IZA), who invited the organizations to gather feedback on their SDG Zinc Sector Roadmap. This collaboration between IZA, as a supporting organisation of the International RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector, and the NGOs marks the start of further dialogue on jointly maximizing contributions in reaching the SDGs in the zinc industry.

Workers at work in metal factory © Shutterstock

The SDG Zinc Sector Roadmap identifies impact opportunities and actions for the global zinc industry to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The roadmap addresses issues like the responsible sourcing of zinc, the increase of the use of renewable energy and zinc recycling. Vincent Vleugel, Children's Rights and Business Specialist at UNICEF on the stakeholder consultation: “Stakeholder consultations are an important step for the zinc industry to understand the perspectives of those who may be affected by its operations. As UNICEF we appreciate the opportunity to point out how business operations potentially affect the full spectrum of child rights. At the same time we encourage the zinc industry to also directly engage with the people and communities who are or may be affected by the industry's operations.”

Participants appreciated that “follow responsible sourcing principles” was identified as an impact opportunity in the SDG Zinc Sector Roadmap for meaningful contributions to SDGs, such as ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ (SDG 8) and ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ (SDG 12). Working towards more transparency throughout the zinc value chain was agreed to be key for addressing and mitigating (potential) adverse impacts. IZA and participants agreed to have further dialogue on the SDG Zinc Sector Roadmap.

Action needed

Last year, the Social and Economic Council published an advice on the relationship between the SDGs and international responsible business conduct. The Council made an urgent call for more action by companies, NGOs, governments, and citizens in order to reach the SDGs. Working together is key to make steps forward.