On 9 January 2019, the Cobalt Institute (CI) launched the Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework (CIRAF). The CIRAF strengthens the ability of cobalt producers and buyers to assess, mitigate, and report on responsible production and sourcing risks in their operations and supply chain. The CIRAF also enables a more coherent and consistent approach to cobalt due diligence and reporting by the cobalt industry.
Having launched in January, the Framework is now being applied by Cobalt Institute members in an initial implementation year. While not a standard or certification scheme, the CIRAF provides a management tool and will enable participants to prove they are aligned with global good practice on responsible production and sourcing with annual public reporting being a mandatory requirement.
The management framework for risk assessment and mitigation outlined in the CIRAF is aligned with the leading global standard on responsible mineral supply chains; the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (OECD DDG).
It covers nine priority risk areas encompassed within four key risk categories:
Participants must assess which risk areas are material to their cobalt operations and supply chain where applicable and demonstrate, through annual public reporting, the presence of a policy and due diligence management system as well as existing responsible production / sourcing standards they are already applying.
For further information, please refer to the CIRAF external primer.