First automaker joins Fair Cobalt Alliance

Sono Motors see great potential in the Fair Cobalt Alliance to make cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo fairer and more transparent. As a mobility company that is one hundred percent committed to electric mobility, the company wants to live up to its responsibility towards people and the planet.

At the moment there is no fair certified cobalt on the market and Sono Motors wants to help change that. After all, its plan is to build 260,000 Sion by 2027. That is a considerable amount of cobalt that has to be extracted from the earth, processed and transported.

“We want this to happen under fair conditions, even though we know that change does not happen overnight,” says Sono Motors. 

“We are therefore all the more pleased to be a member of the Fair Cobalt Alliance and to be able to help drive forward the implementation of its goals. With the help of the Fair Cobalt Alliance, we want to make our cobalt supply chain transparent and help implement solutions locally.

“Due to the fundamental rethinking in the energy and mobility sector, the demand for batteries – and therefore also for cobalt – will continue to grow in the coming years. It is our responsibility as a company to act and ensure that the raw materials we use are mined under environmentally friendly and humane conditions.”

WHAT IS THE FAIR COBALT ALLIANCE

The Fair Cobalt Alliance is an action platform to coordinate, support and scale up local initiatives to improve conditions in small-scale mining. The initiative was launched by the sustainable smartphone manufacturer Fairphone, Signify and Huayou in collaboration with the Impact Facility. The Fair Cobalt Alliance pursues three objectives. 

The first is the professionalisation of independent small-scale mining and better training of the people working in it. The alliance has drawn up a detailed model that describes measures to make the mines safer in the long term.

These include, for example, the installation of medical and sanitary facilities on site and professional management of the mining sites. The second objective is to establish credible control and monitoring mechanisms to keep children away from mines and thus effectively prevent child labour in supply chains.

Thirdly, the Fair Cobalt Alliance is working to achieve a sustainable increase in household income for families dependent on cobalt mining. To achieve this, the companies involved invest in community programmes aimed at community development.

This can include, for example, providing funds for children to attend school, or offering training for adults who work as self-employed miners to feed their families. Only if the living conditions for the local people are improved in the long term, the establishment of a fair supply chain for cobalt can be implemented and child labour avoided.

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