Ford has become the first US automaker to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), marking an expansion of the company’s commitment to safeguard human rights, communities where such work is done, and the broader environment.The BMW Group is also an IRMA member.
Ford has also committed to lead the electric vehicle and sustainable mobility revolution and nearly doubled—to $22 billion—what it will invest in developing EVs and create solutions. That work will increase the company’s reliance on mined material, particularly related to production of electric vehicle batteries.
Historically, mining activities have contributed to negative environmental and social effects, including use of child labor, acid runoff into essential water and food sources, and noise and air pollution. Many materials are mined in areas of the world designated as conflict-affected and high-risk areas, where poor governance can lead to higher risk of conflict and exploitation.
IRMA works to advance responsible mining practices, providing third-party verification and certification against comprehensive environmental and social criteria for all mined materials. The global standard was developed over 10 years, in consultation with more than 100 stakeholder groups including mining companies, affected communities, NGOs, labor groups and purchasing companies using mined materials. The standard covers all mined materials, except for energy fuels, and is applicable to all sizes of industrial mines in all parts of the world.
Everything we make and everything that goes into our products throughout the supply chain must not only comply with local laws, but follow our commitment to sustainability and human rights protection. Joining IRMA helps us and other companies consistently achieve that goal by forwarding best practices to address environmental, social, and governance issues.—Sue Slaughter, Ford’s purchasing director for supply chain sustainability
Ford will continue to conduct outreach to mining companies to engage with IRMA and undergo assurance.