AkzoNobel has formalized its membership of the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI), having been one of the founding members when it was launched in 2017.
Used in a wide range of industries, mica minerals are mined extensively in India, where a variety of factors contribute to poor working conditions, including the use of child labor. The RMI’s mission is to establish responsible and sustainable mica supply chains that are free of child labor.
Following the RMI’s pilot year, AkzoNobel continued to focus on the issue and a commitment was made to conduct serious due diligence and look for creative ways to contribute to the initiative – which has now resulted in full membership.
“We’re pleased to formalize our relationship as an official member and are keen to start collaborating more closely with the RMI to fully support their efforts in eliminating child labor and poor working conditions,” says Anja Verbeke, AkzoNobel’s Global Director of Integrity and Compliance. “Formalizing our membership demonstrates that we take our responsibility to respect human rights across our value chain very seriously and are determined to be part of the solution.”
Continues Verbeke: “We rigorously enforce the fundamental principle of respecting human rights and our position is clear – we only source our mica-based pearlescent pigments from suppliers who are a member of the RMI. Together, we’re committed to banning child labor from the supply chain in a sustainable manner.”
AkzoNobel closely monitors how mica is sourced and works hard to ensure that the supply chain which uses the mineral is made transparent, traceable and sustainable. The company uses mica in some of its automotive and aerospace coatings as a pearlescent pigment.
Commenting on the company’s formal RMI membership, Jan Paul van der Velde, AkzoNobel’s Chief Procurement Officer, adds: “This fits very well with our sustainable sourcing processes. External benchmarks such as EcoVadis already rate us highly on this, which we view as encouragement to further build on the practices we have in place.”
Currently working with more than 70 members, the RMI is one of the few global organizations devoted solely to addressing workplace conditions and the use of child labor in the mica industry.