The mining of hard coal is a complex process that involves interventions in the environment. Ensuring good working and living conditions is therefore always a particular challenge in coal mining. To this end, EnBW has been in direct contact with the mining companies and all other stakeholders for years, starting with representatives of the trade unions, civil society and other governmental and non-governmental actors who contribute to improving working and living conditions in accordance with internationally recognised standards.
Stakeholder dialogue focus on respect for human rights, compliance with occupational health and safety standards, guaranteeing freedom of association, environmental protection and, in particular, the reduction of negative health effects on the local population.
EnBW assumes responsibility for its entire supply chain in line with the requirements of responsible corporate management. We take the allegations of non-compliance with sustainability standards very seriously and try to achieve targeted improvements in the mining countries with the participation of all relevant stakeholders and to continuously improve the standards for responsible coal procurement.
We are convinced that pure sanction approaches are only effective to a limited extent and do not lead to an improvement in working and living conditions on the ground in the medium and long term. This makes cooperation and dialogue with our suppliers and other local stakeholders (local residents, employees, trade unions, NGOs, etc.) all the more important to us in order to identify structural problems at an early stage and jointly develop solutions.
Monitoring the adherence to the EnBW Code of Principles
As part of this procurement process, we see our responsibility for the entire value chain, from local raw material extraction to the power plant. We therefore strive to comply with central sustainability standards along the entire value chain. This is based on the Code of Principles for Responsible Procurement of Hard Coal and Other Raw Materials, which contains all essential requirements relating to responsible business conduct, human rights, working conditions and environmental protection.
The principles of conduct were developed with professional support and interim results discussed with representatives of civil society, science and companies. They contain EnBW's central values and thus represent a voluntary commitment with a socio-political effect. The principles of conduct are a binding component of all raw material procurement contracts in all direct supply relationships.
The sustainability registry for coal producers, which has been in existence since 2012, serves as a central internal knowledge resource for sustainability aspects in coal procurement. All major coal mining companies are tested for sustainability criteria and evaluated using an evaluation model and corresponding traffic light logic. If an analysis of a coal producer reveals any noticeable problems, the AVB Committee (Committee for the Responsible Procurement of Hard Coal and Other Raw Materials) is convened and the company concerned is asked to comment, for example as part of a self-audit. The declared aim here is to work together with the supplier on any deviations or allegations in a continuous improvement process. If the coal producer does not cooperate, further audits (including external audits) are carried out, and it is also possible to be excluded as a trading partner.