The Cobalt Reporting Template (CRT) is a free, industry-standard template that companies can use to track and report on cobalt sourcing. The CRT was created by The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines, and the first version (CRT 1.1) was released on December 21, 2018.

On October 30, 2019, RMI released a new version of the CRT — the CRT 2.0. Major updates from version 1.1 include bug and error corrections, conformance to the May 2019 IPC-1755 amendment, and updates to the Smelter Look-up and Standard Smelter List.

The CRT is the first voluntary responsible minerals reporting initiative adopted by the industry, and may become the first of many.

Learn the best practices for including cobalt in your responsible minerals program, including tips for using the CRT, in our eBook: Cobalt: Responsible Sourcing in Your Supply Chain.

Where Does Cobalt Come From? 

Cobalt is typically produced as a secondary source from nickel and copper. Although it is mined all over the globe, more than half of global cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): a region known for armed conflict and prolific human rights abuses. There are an estimated 35,000 children working to extract cobalt from the ground in the DRC, reportedly earning less than two U.S. dollars per day. For this reason, cobalt has become a mineral of concern.

Why Use a Cobalt Reporting Template? 

While there were discussions about including cobalt as a conflict mineral under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it was ultimately left out of the legislation. Despite the lack of regulatory requirements concerning cobalt, there is a collective consensus that the mineral should be tracked as part of a comprehensive responsible minerals program.

Technological advances over the last several years have increased global demand for cobalt, as the mineral is a key component in the lithium-ion batteries used to power handheld electronics, electric cars and store energy from wind turbines. Some consider cobalt to be essential to a greener economy, with the Paris Declaration calling for higher adoption of electric vehicles.

As demand for cobalt continues to increase, so does public scrutiny of sourcing practices. Reports of child labor and other human rights violations in the supply chain have heightened concerns among consumers, advocates and non-governmental organizations. In response, companies are placing greater focus on cobalt, attempting to ensure that the mineral is sourced ethically.

Assent enables companies to efficiently survey their supply chains using the CRT and other industry-standard templates. To learn how Assent can support your responsible minerals sourcing program, contact our experts today.

Jared Connors
Director, Sustainability

Jared is focused on helping companies achieve their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals through increased understanding and mitigation of risk. His 12 years of leadership in human rights, anti-bribery  Read More

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