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42 Global Organisations Agree on Guiding Principles for Batteries to Power Sustainable Energy Transition

42 global alliance

Batteries will be a significant driver in reducing the carbon footprint of the transport and power sectors through the use of electric vehicles and renewable energy. To help companies and governments, the Global Battery Alliance designed 10 guiding principles for the creation of a sustainable battery chain by 2030.

These principles are intended as the first step in a responsible, sustainable battery value chain as set out in the Global Battery Alliance’s “A Vision for a Sustainable Battery Value Chain in 2030”. Implementing commitments will be based on existing standards such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Due Diligence Guidance and economically viable considerations for a circular and low carbon economy.

What are the principles have been agreed for the creation of a sustainable battery chain?

At the Annual Meeting 2020, 42 organisations, including businesses from mining, chemicals, battery, automotive and energy industries, representing annual revenue of close to a trillion dollars, along with international organisations and global NGOs, have agreed on the ten guiding principles and they include: 

  • maximising the productivity of batteries
  • enabling a productive and safe second life use
  • circular recovery of battery materials
  • ensuring transparency of greenhouse gas emissions and their progressive reduction
  • prioritising energy efficiency measures and increasing the use of renewable energy
  • fostering battery-enabled renewable energy integration
  • high-quality job creation and skills development
  • eliminating child and forced labour
  • protecting public health and the environment and 
  • supporting responsible trade and anti-corruption practices, local value creation and economic diversification.

Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum said:

“We all need batteries to power the clean revolution. However, we must ensure violations of human rights do not occur anywhere in the value chain, that local communities benefit and that battery production is sustainable. These guiding principles are an important first step to build a value chain that can deliver on this promise while supporting societies and economies at the same time.”

Organisations supporting the realisation of a value chain for batteries that meet these principles include: 

  • AB Volvo
  • African Development Bank
  • Amara Raja Batteries
  • Analog Devices
  • Audi
  • BASF
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW)
  • Cadenza Innovation
  • China EV100
  • Clarios
  • ClimateWorks Foundation 
  • Enel
  • Envision Group
  • Eurasian Resources Group (ERG)
  • Everledger
  • Fairphone
  • Fundacion Chile
  • Good Shepherd International Foundation
  • Greentech Capital Advisors
  • Groupe Renault
  • Honda
  • International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • International Justice Mission (IJM)
  • Johnson Matthey
  • International Lead Association (ILA)
  • Leaseplan
  • Office of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • OPTEL Group
  • Pact
  • Pure Earth
  • Responsible Battery Coalition
  • SGS
  • SK Innovation
  • Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SQM)
  • The Faraday Institution
  • The World Bank Group
  • Trafigura
  • Transport & Environment (T&E)
  • Umicore
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • the Volkswagen Group
  • the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

To realise the full ambition of these principles, the Global Battery Alliance is actively seeking the endorsement of new organisations to ensure full participation throughout the battery value chain.

This alignment among key players in the battery market establishes the basis for a transparent accountability system. It will guide the development of a global digital battery information disclosure system referred to as the “Battery Passport”, designed to enable a transparent value chain, for example, concerning human rights and the environmental footprint.

Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF and Co-Chair of the Global Battery Alliance, said: 

“These guiding principles are a milestone for the Global Battery Alliance to promote a sustainable and responsible battery value chain. As a founding member of the alliance, BASF welcomes a joint vision and concrete actions, such as the planned battery passport.” 


Marc Grynberg, Chief Executive Officer, Umicore, said:

“I am very pleased that after over two years of intense work among many key stakeholders of the battery value chain we have reached consensus on ten challenging principles. In particular, the principles call for ‘immediately and urgently eliminating child and forced labour’ from the batteries. Indeed, we cannot accept that the pursuit of climate neutrality should, in any way involve child labour. Therefore (along with the immediate elimination of child labour) I am prepared to pledge significant funds to support the work of a consortium of NGOs in order to ensure that children are out of the mines and I invite other members of the Global Battery Alliance to join me for the creation of this fund.” 

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42 global alliance