As Programme Partner of the World Resources Forum 2021, RE-SOURCING will organise and host the online workshop “A global definition for Responsible Sourcing?”, as part of the primary resources conference track. In this short article, the workshop organisers tell us more about the context behind the session, what the workshop will be about and why you should attend it. Don’t miss it on the last day of WRF2021, October 14th, 14.30 – 15.20 CET!



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As a matter of introduction, what is the RE-SOURCING project and what are its objectives?

RE-SOURCING is an EU-funded project that aims to set up a “Global Stakeholder Platform for Responsible Sourcing”. The key objectives of the project/platform are to (i) facilitate the development of a globally accepted definition of responsible sourcing, (ii) develop ideas for incentives facilitating responsible business conduct for supporting Responsible Sourcing initiatives and (iii) enable exchange of stakeholders for information sharing and promotion.

RE-SOURCING focuses on responsible sourcing of minerals in the three sectors of Renewable Energy, Mobility, and Electric & Electronic Equipment, which represent essential priorities and focus areas for policymaking in the European long-term strategy.

To achieve its objectives, RE-SOURCING:

  • Provides a space for discussion and exchange among relevant stakeholders through the organization of conferences and expert panels;
  • Facilitates peer-learning processes from innovative business cases and with the aim to scale up best practices by involving relevant stakeholders in a moderated dialogue such as thematic workshops and Flagship Labs;
  • Creates responsible sourcing industry state-of-play and roadmaps for the three focus areas;
  • Advances the harmonization of concepts and work towards establishing a global definition of responsible sourcing through organization of three Global Fora in Asia, Latin American and Africa;
  • Builds a hybrid platform for knowledge sharing, introducing best practices cases and creating a global responsible sourcing point of agreement.

Since its commencement in 2019, RE-SOURCING has organized several conferences, panel discussions and peer-learning workshops and has made advancements in developing roadmaps for RS in renewable energy and mobility sectors, some of which can be found here.

What will your workshop be about and what goals does it have?

This workshop aims to understand the challenges, needs and processes for attaining a globally accepted definition of responsible sourcing. Responsible Sourcing has gained attention amongst international actors, institutions and initiatives as a contributory factor to achieving Sustainable Development Goals and the Green Transition. Despite the advancements made, there is still a lack of global agreement  on the concept and an accepted definition for what such practices entail.

This stems from the fact that global value chains of raw materials are complex and involve a wide group of diverse actors, who focus on different aspects of responsible sourcing based on the type of minerals, their sector or level of operations. Some focus on governance, on environment, whilst others on supply chain due diligence or human rights. They operate at different levels of complexity, reporting and operationalization and their engagement with varying stakeholders is not consistent across regions.

The firm and sectoral challenges are further compounded by the intermingling of the responsible sourcing agenda with the wider sustainability agenda, where a complex network of regional, national and international initiatives and platforms have been unable to agree on a common definition of responsible sourcing.

A key step towards harmonizing these fragmented approaches and creating a level playing field is to establish a common understanding of responsible sourcing and foster its application and concept among various sectors, levels and regions. This requires a collective, consultative and collaborative approach. Being one of the key objectives of the RE-SOURCING project, this workshop aims to initiate a discourse and professional exchange among stakeholders representing governments, financial sector and civil society to understand the similarities, differences and necessities in the scope of responsible sourcing.

What excites you about being a program partner of WRF2021?

We are looking forward to receiving input from the global audience of the WRF conference who are representing governments, policy makers, civil society, scientist and key business leaders. This workshop will also be a great opportunity for the RE-SOURCING platform to present its findings and engage with key stakeholders to towards formulating a common definition for responsible sourcing. Furthermore, with this, we would like to set the scene and collect input for the upcoming RE-SOURCING Global Advocacy Forum to be held in Chile in June 2022.

Finally, let’s conclude with a call for participation. Why should participants attend your workshop and for whom would it be particularly interesting to attend?

This workshop makes an effort to create an inclusive platform for stakeholder engagement and learn from those who are are aware of the challenges and mechanisms that can drive a transition towards responsible sourcing practices. More specifically, this workshop will be interesting for stakeholders from resource rich countries who are directly involved with the current challenges, including policy makers, civil society organizations and mining & manufacturing businesses.

Useful links

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The World Resources Forum 2021 (WRF2021), under the theme of “A Green Deal for Sustainable Resources” will take place on October 12-14 in an innovative hybrid format: three days of online sessions and two small scale-events in Accra (Ghana) and Zürich (Switzerland). All the workshops, such as the one organised by RE-SOURCING, together with all scientific sessions and plenary sessions will take place online, in a dedicated virtual event platform. WRF2021 is co-hosted by the Ghanaian Ministry for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN/BAFU).

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this exciting session and learn from all the participants.

Register now for WRF2021!