One way that companies can better ensure that their cobalt comes from ethical sources is to be more active in their supply chains, rather than relying on intermediaries — which is exactly what companies such as Apple and Fairphone are doing. And Fairphone, which in established traceable supply chains for all four conflict minerals gold , tin , tantalum and tungsten , is leading the charge for ethical sourcing of cobalt, as well, through a series of partnerships aimed at improving conditions in high-risk areas such as the DRC.
As cobalt demand grows — some estimate it could quadruple by — the entire industry needs to ensure that this rising demand does not result in more human rights abuses in the DRC, or elsewhere.
Thankfully, Callaway has seen that some companies are willing to engage on fixing this problem — a good sign, as it will take dedicated, collective work to clean up the cobalt supply chain. Enough Project plans to release an update sometime next year, highlighting companies taking action, giving the entire industry a model to work from.
Nithin is a freelance writer who focuses on global economic, and environmental issues with an aim at building channels of communication and collaboration around common challenges.
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