Webinar: Building a Sustainable Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain - Shared screen with speaker view
Ian Morse
The report’s recommendations rely on strong transparency, but there aren’t many suggestions to enhance it. In one recommendation, companies are meant to take initiative to inform consumers about their practices. But that doesn’t seem like something companies would be keen to do. How will transparency actually be achieved?
Ian Morse
So there’s opportunity for mineral-producing countries, but at the same time, the market should be creating reuse/recycle programs. How do you design governance and finances in mineral-producing countries if they know the demand for raw ore is supposed to decline?
3 Alejandro
A growing body of scientific evidence show that mitigating environmental impacts and reaching sustainability goals can’t be achieved without reducing the total amount of raw materials and energy (throughput) that go into production and consumption.
3 Alejandro
So why not focused on reducing the amount of cars altogether?
3 Alejandro
rather than just a transition to EVs.
3 Alejandro
Simply put, the more the material and energy throughput the larger the amount of generated waste and emissions.
Alex Grant
In Latin America, the government usually does not have the resources (financial or experiential) to fully regulate operating mineral extraction projects in their jurisdictions. And/or these operators negotiated social licenses to operate there 10 years ago + which are no longer acceptable based on international standards. The result is a lot of self-monitoring and self-governance with no clear transparent third party adjudicator on what are acceptable environmental impacts (who really understand the technical side). Remember there is no such thing as "sustainable" extraction - there are always impacts - the goal is to minimize them, not eliminate them completely. New tech in process/extraction and monitoring are both helpful to achieve that goal.
Ted Lamm
Great point. Our starting point for the initiative is that a transition from ICEs to EVs will be necessary and desirable, but you’re absolutely right that policies to reduce vehicle use and support public transit/active transportation are paramount.
3 Alejandro
According to a report by IPCC scientists, “Increasing vehicle occupancy by 25% and vehicle usage per day by 75% delivers the same intra-urban mobility with 50% of the vehicle fleet.” This would allow to halve the total number of light duty vehicles by 2050 to approximately 850 million.
3 Alejandro
In my perspective, rather than mass uptake of EVs a mobility transition needs to focus on profound societal changes in order to reduce the amount and weight of cars (and therefore their material and energy throughput) by shifting from private ownership to public and shared transport and using shared trip-specific vehicles.
3 Alejandro
thank you.
Daniel's point relating to corruption is important. It's critical not just to know the company producing the resources, but also middlemen and suppliers associated with producing companies.
Great examples to learn from in the garment industry on this point.
Shawn Lee
I unfortunately had a meeting for the first half of this meeting. is there some way to get the recording of this afterwards?
Danny Mulé (Oxfam)
Excellent point, @rpitman; these risks do also apply to suppliers and intermediaries.
Alex Grant
Tend to agree with this sentiment that less cars is an important part of energy transition, but am always a little confused why it keeps popping up in conversations about chemical/metal supply chains. Not really a relevant forum IMO... LIB supply chains = global, mass transit = hyper local.
Lauren Withey
What kind of takeback and recycling efforts is GM investing in as part of this EV buildout?
Shawn Lee
How does GM think about industry wide collaboration vs individual company initiative when it comes to funding battery recycling technology development?
Tony Addison
Given that China will be the biggest EVs market, what mechanisms can be used to mobilise more Chinese participation in these initiatives?
Anna-Sophie Hobi
Do we have any responsibility, transparency and/or sustainability initiatives in the lithium supply chain?
Alex Grant
Discourse with no representation from extractive industries gives us taxonomies and frameworks. Highly recommend roping in real mining project operators and developers into these conversations. They want to learn and will help you develop tools that are truly operable for material buyers and investors. Activists are an important part of the conversation and should be heard, but in real industry, are often not taken seriously because often do not understand the levers to pull to change behavior besides just shutting down projects, which usually is not an option (which are often technical).
Payal Sampat
Anna-Sophia - https://responsiblemining.net/
3 Alejandro
@Alex Grant the amount of cars has a direct impact on the amount of chemicals and meals that will be required hence on their supply chains. Many mobility transition discussions seem to give for granted that mass uptake of EVs is a solution. But evidence shows that other strategies could have a greater impact in reducing GHG emissions. For instance a report by IRP concludes that the strategies that contribute the most to reducing life-cycle emissions is not the mass uptake of EVs but rather ride sharing, car sharing and producing/using smaller vehicles.
Katharina Gerber
I find that most of supply-chain discussions tend to focus on impacts from raw material sourcing and on the recyclability and end-of-life cycle issues, whilst the electrode manufacturing doesn't get as much attention - there are none (known to me) LCA data related to electrode manufacturing (i.e. energy intensity, emissions from processing, waste stream, efficiency of processes..)
Most of the producing countries are in Africa. What do you think of sustainable mining in this part of the word. In addition, What is the top challenge in doing mining business particularly in Nigeria.
3 Alejandro
The goal of a transition should be to reduce the extraction and processing of all natural resources (including both oil and minerals), which have been responsible for the loss of 90% of biodiversity and water stress an accounts for roughly half of global GHE. Transitioning from fossil fuels to a system of increased mineral extraction doesn’t solve the climate crisis but only shifts the source of the social and environmental impacts. Business as usual is not an option for a truly just transition. To reach levels of sustainability for the planet and future generations there is an absolute need to significantly reduce resource use, especially for high-income countries
Alex Grant
@2 Alejandro > why is this an "or"? It's very much an "and".
3 Alejandro
Because mass uptake of EVs implies a soaring rise in demand of minerals, and that has impacts. We are in a stage of the climate crisis where we can't afford such impacts for the planet. We need to make choices as society.