The debate on downstream due diligence has never been more topical: The EU currently discusses the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. However, both the Council and various parliamentary groups want to limit the scope of the value chain to which environmental and human rights due diligence obligations should apply. Among other things, the downstream value chain would then be (largely) exempted from corporate due diligence obligations.
European mining equipment manufacturers are cooperating with and supplying mining projects that are known for human rights abuses and environmental destruction. The lack of legislation requiring companies to address severe human rights and environmental risks in their downstream value chain–thus in post-manufacturing processes such as the distribution, use or disposal of products or in client-related business relationships–makes this possible. This study highlights the need for downstream due diligence obligations in the mining equipment sector. It also assesses the existing downstream due diligence policies of 14 European mining equipment manufacturers, and shows how downstream due diligence can be implemented.
Luisa Denter, Johanna Sydow