The interaction between International and human rights organizations has shed light on the critical issue of human rights within the automotive industry, particularly concerning the impact of metal consumption on global supply chains. The statement emphasizes the need for automobile manufacturers to address human rights effects related to metal manufacturing, highlighting the industry's significant consumption of metals, which is predicted to double by 2050 due to the shift towards electric vehicles.


Metal Consumption and Human Rights Concerns

In 2019, the automotive industry utilized approximately 5% of the global metal consumption for cars, with a notable reliance on bauxite, primarily sourced from Guinea, for aluminum production. However, the majority of aluminum manufacturing occurs in China, with significant implications for countries like Guinea, a major bauxite exporter. The paper underscores the importance of thorough research on sourcing elements like cobalt for E-Tron cars, alongside the challenges related to rural land rights in Guinea, where mining activities impact local communities.

Environmental and Social Impact of Aluminum Mining

The partnership between mining corporations and various stakeholders has raised concerns about the environmental and social consequences of aluminum mining in Guinea. Reports indicate devastating effects on agricultural lands, water sources, and local communities due to mining activities. The Commerciale des Alumina de Guinea (CBG) and Société Manière de Boké have been key players in Guinea's bauxite exports, with partnerships involving major global aluminum manufacturers and logistics providers.

Human Rights Advocacy and Industry Response

NGOs and human rights groups have been advocating for action to address the negative impacts of aluminum mining on human rights, particularly in Guinea and other supplying nations. Automakers like BMW, Ford, Renault, and Volkswagen have initiated projects to assess human rights risks in their supply chains, focusing on aluminum sourcing and processing. Efforts are underway to evaluate and mitigate the environmental and social risks associated with metal extraction and processing.

Collaborative Efforts and Future Strategies

The automotive and mining industries are under pressure to conduct comprehensive studies on aluminum mining practices and take proactive measures to safeguard human rights and environmental sustainability. Partnerships between industry stakeholders, governments, and advocacy groups are crucial in addressing the challenges posed by metal consumption in global supply chains. Continuous dialogue, research, and strategic planning are essential to ensure responsible sourcing practices and mitigate the adverse impacts of metal production on communities and the environment.

In conclusion, the automotive industry's increasing metal consumption underscores the importance of proactive measures to uphold human rights, environmental sustainability, and ethical practices throughout the supply chain. By collaborating with stakeholders, conducting thorough assessments, and implementing robust strategies, automakers can contribute to a more responsible and sustainable approach to metal sourcing and production.