The data-led ESG evolution in battery supply chain due diligence: A year in review, and what to expect in 2022
On December 8th, RCS Global held the final webinar of 2021 making the end of a successful line of webinars joined by a wide range of our partners and industry leaders with representation from all steps of the value chain. The December webinar focused on “The data-led ESG evolution in battery supply chain due diligence” in conversation with Global Business Alliance, Ford Motor Company, and BHP.
From EV and ICT brands through to battery makers and miners, companies across the spectrum increasingly turn their attention to digitalising approaches, recognising that a more transparent, systematised, and data-led approach to responsible sourcing is possible. This tipping point was the central focus of the webinar, discussing trends of 2021 through to 2022, how mapping and auditing remain the fundamental foundation to delivering responsible supply chains and proving good ESG practices to the market.
- The evolution of ESG requirements and expansion of due diligence scope
- The key role of mapping and auditing, to create validated, dependable data
- Digitalising due diligence efforts to support responsible sourcing
- The enabling role of technology to manage supply chain complexity
- Progressing towards battery passport and digital product IDs
Below is a short summary of each speaker session:
Harrison Mitchell from RCS Global Groupopened the session by providing an industry context and then shared a summary of trends seen in the market linking to ESG in battery supply chains. Harrison highlighted some of the key drivers influencing actions such as an increasing focus on life cycle assessments, a broader multi-material comprehensive risk focus, and increasingly comprehensive regulations and standards. He further pointed toward the role of digitalisation in meeting these trends in 2022 before handing it over to Katie Redmond.
Katie Redmond from RCS Global Group shared how RCS Global has seen an increase in demand for due diligence and ESG mapping and audit programs for battery materials the last few years – a trend reflected industry-wide. Katie talked about how mapping and auditing remain the fundamental foundation to delivering responsible supply chains and proving good ESG practices to the market. The increasing demand leads to increased volume and impact that again leads to increased amounts of data. More data allow for robust data analysis to add relevant context to the data-gathering of audit programs and drive the demand for more digitalisation.
Iain Fraser from RCS Global Group then moved from the mapping and audit process to explain how the data generated from these processes can be better utilised to visualise, assess, and manage supply chains and drive improvement across ESG. Iain then demonstrated Vine as an example of the data-led evolution in responsible sourcing.
The webinar then turned the focus towards updates from Global Battery Alliance (GBA)
Dr Torsten Freund from GBA gave an overview of the Global Battery Alliance and their perspectives on The Battery Passport. Torsten shared how The Battery Passport will be a key instrument to enable the development of a sustainable, circular, and just battery value chain. He further talked about the three main functions of The Battery Passport in supporting sustainable development; Transparency, Benchmarking & Standard Setting, and Progress Tracking & Validation. Torsten ended his presentation with a detailed overview of the data process and the role of The Battery Passport in the global battery value chain.
Finally, the webinar turned to the downstream perspective by Ford Motor Company and the natural resources’ viewpoint by BHP
Kerri Abbott from Ford Motor Company talked about Ford Motor Company’s position at the end of the battery supply chain and how Ford tackles mapping entire supply chains, achieving transparency, and driving improvement in performance from suppliers. She then went on to discuss the role of digitalisation and data-led solutions in helping improve due diligence management programs. Kerri also provided insight into how Ford is using Vine to help track the complex EV battery material supply chain in practice.
Andrew Jacob from BHP explained BHP’s risk-based and collaborative approach to responsible and sustainable value chains. He further shared some key themes in the responsible standards landscape from a natural resources perspective such as the importance of information and developing a strong foundation for ESG data and leveraging the right technologies.
We are very thankful to all our speakers for their wonderful contributions!