The Korea Herald


Posco Future M unveils report on sustainable supply chain

By Park Se-ra

Published : May 7, 2024 - 14:56

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Researchers conduct a study at a lab of Posco Future M. (Posco Future M) Researchers conduct a study at a lab of Posco Future M. (Posco Future M)

To address increasing global concerns regarding ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility, domestic battery material manufacturer Posco Future M released its third Responsible Minerals Activity Report on Tuesday.

The publication is a part of the company’s efforts to establish a sustainable supply chain for materials used in battery production, specifically the cathode and anode segments.

It marks the continuation of a commitment initiated in 2021 when Posco Future M first outlined its comprehensive approach to responsible mineral procurement. The report includes the company’s strategies to prevent human rights abuses, environmental destruction and the diversion of funds to conflict groups during the mineral extraction process.

The release coincides with an increasing regulatory emphasis on corporate responsibility, such as the European Union's impending Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. Mandating companies to conduct due diligence regarding environmental and human rights impacts, the upcoming initiative taps into mitigating risks with their operations and supply chains.

"In the battery materials sector, where a variety of minerals are utilized, constructing a stable and sustainable supply chain is increasingly critical," said Koo Ja-hyun, head of the purchasing contract department at Posco Future M.

"We will continue to fulfill the ESG management demands of our global battery and automotive customers by establishing a supply chain from an ESG perspective."

ESG refers to environment, social and governance policy.

With intensified scrutiny in the industry, the company is tackling the origins and ethical implications of raw materials like cobalt and tungsten, both cited in the report as minerals that fuel conflict and undermine environmental and social standards. The company ensures that it sources these materials solely from suppliers and mines certified by the Responsible Minerals Initiative, a global consortium that oversees the traceability of materials and constant assessment of the producers.

Posco Future M further extends its responsible sourcing framework to other battery components like lithium, nickel, manganese and graphite, which are not covered by the RMI. It has established its own rigorous evaluation process to ensure compliance with comparable standards.

Concurrently, the firm is managing its supply chain to prevent the use of materials from artisanal and small mining operations within designated high-risk areas, detouring from potential human rights and environmental violations.