Supply Chain Management: NamiRo

“NamiRo” research project on sustainably produced mineral resources founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The acronym NamiRo is derived from the German project title which can be translated into “Sustainably produced Mineral Resources”. The aim of the project is to develop a standard setting scheme for mineral resources to foster market transparency in the supply chain of mineral resources. To achieve this objective, a system for standard setting, diligence or certification will be designed, which documents and evaluates the extraction and processing of mineral resources in terms of their sustainability impacts transparently along the various process steps in the value chain.  

Why is this relevant? Mineral resources and other commodities are globally traded according to their price and material quality, though often in disregard of the circumstances of their production and processing. Nevertheless mining and beneficiation are associated with numerous environmental and social aspects which have to be considered. Companies producing with high environmental and social standards might have a competitive disadvantage due to higher production costs and their achievements are often not honoured by the market actors. This leads to market distortions, especially in case of internationally traded resources, hindering innovations in sustainability. 

Moreover, end-customers are requesting more and more sustainably produced products, investors are in search of possibilities for sustainable investments and companies take responsibility for the entire supply chain of their products. Thus, customers at different positions of the supply chain start requesting information about the extent to which sustainability is assured during mineral exploitation and processing. This illustrates the different motivations for fostering market transparency of mineral resources and making environmental and social contributions visible. 

To date, applicable standard systems exist particularly for conflict minerals and high-value resources such as gold and diamonds. The acceptance, effectiveness as well as intended and unintended consequences (for example regarding social implications of such systems) are determined by a number of factors rooted in the general framework and the development process of the respective system, which are at the heart of this research project.

Contact person: Philipp Sauer

Further information on the project you will find at 

Thesis opportunities in the NamiRo project

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