Some of the materials used in our products come in scarce supply, and some materials and substances are potentially hazardous, i.e. substances of concern. In collaboration with our stakeholders, and in compliance with REACH, the Volvo Group proactively evaluates alternatives in the design and supply processes to minimize and eliminate scarce materials and substances of concern.
The Volvo Group purchases raw materials and components from numerous external suppliers who are in compliance with REACH. Suppliers and business partners come from all around the world, thus sustainable value chain solutions and close collaboration with suppliers are important for the success of handling valuable minerals. These are important steps for creating a sustainable value chain.
The base for safe handling in a sustainable value chain is identification. Although we have been progressive in identifying the materials and substances that should be avoided, the number of trackable materials and substances increase every year. Internal policies and procedures are important tools to manage and trace materials and substances of concern. This requires a life-cycle mindset in early design phase, manufacturing, product use phase, recycling, end of life and phase out.
We focus our efforts to reduce the dependency on materials and substances of concern throughout the product value chain.
Certain materials are limited in supply throughout the world, which may lead to a variety of difficulties such as high prices and an increased risk for corrupt behavior. Mining of valuable minerals in conflict-affected areas and other high-risk areas, involve high risks for human rights violations.
We are implementing a dedicated supplier Sustainable Minerals Program, currently focusing on tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold and cobalt, to support our efforts to source materials in a responsible way. The program is built on the five step framework of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, as well as on the tools of the Responsible Minerals Initiative “RMI,” to which the Volvo Group is a member.