Monthly Archives: June 2024

RIA Conference Vancouver 2024RIA Conference Vancouver 2024Finance

IRMA at Responsible Investment Association

In May IRMA  presented at the annual conference of the Responsible Investment Association in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Launched more than 30 years ago, the RIA’s vision is to align capital with sustainable and inclusive development as codified in the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Today, the RIA today serves the needs of investment institutions, financial planners and industry service-suppliers collectively managing more than C$44 trillion in assets. The RIA serves as a secretariat for Climate Engagement Canada, a finance-led initiative to drive dialogue between finance and industry to promote a just transition to a net zero economy.

IRMA participated as part of the Critical Minerals and Mining: Balancing Net-Zero Ambitions with Social Responsibilities panel. IRMA board and secretariat members also hosted a side session to introduce IRMA to Vancouver-based colleagues, and to talk about the issues of climate, energy transition, materials needed from mining, Indigenous rights and the role investors serve.

Given Canada’s large support for mining and mine finance, Canadian investors have the potential to play a major role in encouraging mining companies to pursue the IRMA Standard. IRMA’s strategy includes an effort to engage the RIA and its institutional members.


IRMA Welcomes New Board Members

IRMA welcomes two new Board Members representing the purchasing sector: Mercedes-Benz’s Johannes Danz and Microsoft’s Leslie Esparza.

IRMA Board Member Johannes Danz of Mercedes-Benz AGJohannes is a sustainability expert for raw materials and human rights at Mercedes-Benz. In this role, he developed the company’s approach to due diligence in raw material supply chains and holds responsibility for a range of strategic areas including mining standards. Prior to his current position, Johannes served as the program manager of Extractives and Development – a German Development Cooperation program focused on policy advice and the design of strategic topics related to human rights, responsible supply chains and economic beneficiation in mining.

Leslie is the head of Responsible Sourcing for Microsoft Devices, dedicated to ensuring that Microsoft’s products are manufactured ethically and sustainably. She has over 25 years of multi-sector experience developing and leading programs in the fields of ethical sourcing, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and human rights. Leslie has specific experience related to auditing: as a social compliance auditor she assessed workplaces in over 35 countries; she also led a multistakeholder working group to define social auditing for the then-newly formed Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA).

Johannes and Leslie come to us as the previous Purchasing Board Member representatives depart. Thanks to Claudia Becker of BMW Group and J.J. Messner de Latour, formerly of Microsoft and now IRMA’s Purchasing Sector lead, for the wisdom and service they provided as IRMA Board Members.

UN Secretary-General's Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals Panel bannerUN Secretary-General's Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals Panel bannerEnergy Transition

The UN Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals

IRMA Engagement in the UN Secretary-General’s Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals

IRMA is serving as a non-state actor panel member in the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals.

The panel, co-chaired by Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa and Ms. Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, aims to “build trust between governments, local communities and industry, by addressing issues relating to equity, transparency, investment, sustainability and human rights” in the mining sector. The objectives of the panel are to:

  1. Support a just and equitable transition to renewable energies while harnessing critical energy transition minerals for sustainable development.
  2. Ensure countries and local communities endowed with these minerals fully benefit economically, including through local value addition, while safeguarding social and environmental protections for affected communities and ecosystems.
  3. Strengthen international cooperation including through the alignment and harmonization of existing norms, standards and initiatives and agree on areas for enhanced multilateral action.

The UN Secretary General announced formation of the panel at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai and launched the panel on 26 April 2024. The panel will build on the work of IRMA and other existing standards as well as prior and ongoing UN initiatives to inform recommendations, including a set of voluntary principles, for the UN Secretary-General to share at the UN General Assembly this September.

IRMA welcomes your recommendations regarding our engagement in the panel, its objectives, and how to achieve these objectives. Please reach out to to inform our engagement.

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