Eurometaux gathered its members for a joint meeting with the representatives of the International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) Agreement for the Metals Sector on 9th March in Brussels. IZA represented the zinc industry at the meeting, which provided updates on progress made in Responsible Sourcing of raw materials and further developing joint interests and activities. This agreement was launched in May 2019 in partnership with several stakeholders from the metal sectors.

As a supporting organization of the IRBC Agreement, IZA welcomed the development of due diligence tools for the member companies of the IRBC in the past months. These tools will help companies to find solutions leading to responsible and sustainable business practices. IZA highlighted the existing responsible sourcing standards that are applied already today by the mining and metals industry. Moreover, IZA on behalf of the zinc industry and in close cooperation with the LME and other base metals, is currently developing a Responsible Sourcing framework for the global zinc industry. Therefore, Eurometaux and its members are pleading for coherence and harmonization of standardization schemes and cross-recognition of existing standards to limit the bureaucratic burden.

Another asset of the IRBC Agreement is the multiplicity of actors from different sectors sharing their knowledge and expertise. Zwanny Naber, representing the Dutch union FNV in the IRBC emphasized: “Working together in this multi-stakeholder partnership makes it so much more effective to deliver responsible metals supply chains: Human rights, labour rights, environmental and biodiversity standards. Together with our union network reaches so far that we can even have a chain impact in countries to which a single company may not have links” . Maurits Derksen, independent chairman of the IRBC for the Metal Sector supplemented: “We can achieve more together than on our own. It is all about people… Building integral platforms with NGO’s, Unions, Ministries, Associations and Companies for co-operation, learning, sharing and innovation realizing improvements in the Metals Sector chain faster… Many human rights and environmental risks are too complex for us to address alone. Together we are well on our way”.


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