Locally established – globally committed
We process copper concentrates that are obtained from ores and are offered by mining companies and trading companies on the global market. We purchase the necessary raw materials for our two primary smelters in Hamburg and Pirdop. We don’t have our own mines or stakes in mines. Apart from copper concentrates, we also use copper scrap and other metal-bearing recycling materials, as well as bought-in intermediates, as feed material.
In some cases, our raw materials come from countries with a higher risk of corruption, human rights violations, and non-compliance with social and environmental standards. Responsibility in the supply chain is therefore one of the central topics of the Sustainability Strategy. We respect human rights, advocate for their protection, and adhere to the recognized core labor standards set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO). We have also pledged to comply with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, which serves as an important international guideline for sustainable activities in the supply chain. This guidance regulates responsible global supply chain management in the processing of conflict-free raw materials.
We expect our business partners to follow all local laws. We also expect them to observe UN sanctions and trade restrictions, as well as UN conventions related to human rights, environmental protection, and safety. We have included a corresponding clause in our – usually long-term – supply contracts since 2013. In the meantime, this clause is a component of about 80 % of our supply contracts for primary raw materials. This should increase to 100 % by fiscal year 2022/23.
Our due diligence in selecting suppliers has been supported by our Business Partner Screening since 2015 and applies to suppliers of both primary materials and secondary materials. Using this tool, we analyze our business partners in a structured manner with regard to their integrity relating to social and ecological criteria. Screening is guided by the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.
The Procurement and Sales departments are responsible for implementing this screening. We use internally configured software for screening across the Group. It assesses risks according to financial, tax, and criminal law aspects, as well as risks relevant to sustainability. The result includes a profile that, in the case of increased risk, leads to additional research by the Commercial, Compliance, and Sustainability departments.
Based on this assessment, management decides on possible contracts or restrictions. The Compliance and Sustainability departments regularly repeat the review, with the time interval depending on the risk level that has been determined. New partners are reviewed before any contracts are signed.
Since 2013, Aurubis’ gold production has been annually certified as conflict-free according to the standards of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). The certificate verifies the effectiveness of our due diligence process with regard to gold production. This certification option has been available for
silver since 2019, and Aurubis has been certified as conflict-free in this area since then as well. Suppliers of other raw materials go through a comparable process as those who supply gold- and
silver-bearing raw materials.
We support industry solutions like the Copper Mark. Aurubis Bulgaria is the company’s first primary smelter to commit to this standard. The Copper Mark is an initiative that entails a review of the
sustainability standards of copper production sites including mines, smelters, and refineries. With this standard, we want to foster responsibility throughout the value chain, boosting and verifying our own sustainability performance with an external certification from an independent body.