Site visits, Colombia, 2022

Visiting our coke suppliers in Colombia with human rights in focus

We have continued assessing our raw material suppliers with regards to sustainability and human rights within the Raw Material Procurement function.

As part of that work, we visited five of our metallurgical coke suppliers in Colombia in June-July 2022 together with the same external partner that conducted human rights impact assessments with us in Brazil and Guatemala. This time, there were no allegations towards to suppliers beforehand, so we conducted these visits proactively based on our raw material supply chain risk assessment.

Understanding our suppliers’ supply chain

We visited the metallurgical coke plants of all five suppliers as well as one metallurgical coal mine to get a better understanding of our suppliers’ supply chains. We discussed the suppliers’ own due diligence processes, governance and how they assess their suppliers.

“Most of the suppliers told us that we were the first of their customers to visit them with a focus on human rights. In addition, we met with NGOs to gain information about the specific risks and conditions that prevail in that region to put everything we see and hear into context”, tells Pia Lindqvist, Outokumpu’s Supplier Sustainability Manager who participated in the visits.

No alarming findings but room for improvement found

 As a result of the assessment, we got an overall understanding of where our suppliers are on their sustainability and human rights journey. There were no alarming findings, but it was clear that the suppliers are at different maturity levels, and for many, human rights had not been in focus yet.

Our partner prepared a report of the assessment which included recommendations for both Outokumpu and all five suppliers according to their maturity level. We have gone through the recommendations with the suppliers, and most were very motivated to start on the improvements. Therefore, as a next step, we will start the supplier development work and track the progress of their improvement, while we also implement the recommendations given by our partner to ourselves.