The understanding that companies have a responsibility to respect human rights along their value chains has become firmly established over the past few years. On 11 June 2021, the federal government passed the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG). The law, which comes into force on 1 January 2023, creates specific legal obligations for companies to avoid, reduce and redress (potentially) negative human rights impacts along supply chains. In addition to respect for human rights, the law also requires the protection of the environment wherever this is directly related to human rights impacts.
This project builds on this understanding by presenting human rights and environmental risks for five selected raw materials and how those risks relate to one another. The project focusses on raw materials because their extraction is often associated with specific risks that are relevant for the companies that (further) process the materials as well as the companies that bring the finished products to the marketplace. However, tracing product risks back to the level of raw material extraction can be difficult, especially for manufacturers of end products and distribution companies. It therefore makes sense to get an overall picture of the risks associated with the extraction of raw materials.
The project compiled information on environmental and human rights-related risks in a brochure. For eight selected raw materials, the brochure presents the risks for negative human rights and environmental impacts related to extraction and, in some cases, processing. It enables the reader to understand how these risks relate in a meaningful way.