Finland and Sweden want a certificate for sustainable minerals in the mining industry
Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä met with Minister of Economic Affairs Mikael Damberg from Sweden in Brussels on Monday 12 March 2018. The ministers agreed that the countries will work together on preparations to create an accountability certificate concerning products in the mining industry.
The purpose of the certificate would be to provide information on the accountability of batteries, for example, throughout their entire chain of production, all the way from mining and manufacturing to their use and recycling.
– The demand for battery minerals will increase as electric cars become more common. This will emphasise accountability and the sustainable development perspective among car manufacturers. Consumers are interested in the accountability of the chain of production of batteries, says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
– From the Finnish perspective, the consumers’ requirement for accountability is a great opportunity. Exacting regulations will help us promote the technological advantage and competitiveness of battery manufacturing in Europe, says Lintilä.
– Some phone manufacturers are tightening their control over the management of their procurement chains for battery minerals, the Minister adds.
Battery minerals are currently also available around the world in places where matters related to the environment, occupational safety, employment conditions and to other corporate social responsibility issues are not necessarily managed in the best possible way. Child labour is also used in the industry, for example.
– As we see it, there are grounds for creating a certificate for sustainable minerals so that consumers will know where the minerals used in their car batteries or even in their mobile phones have come from, Minister Lintilä explains.
– The EU should act as a forerunner in the world in this respect, and Finland’s role could be to promote the issue at the EU level. I would like to see discussion on the need, content and impact of a certificate as well as investigations on how to promote transparency and verifiability and on the criteria for sustainable operations.
According to Minister Mikael Damberg, Sweden has similar ideas regarding this matter.
Under-secretary of State Petri Peltonen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 3662