Annual general meeting of copper group Aurubis
Alliance calls for a more transparent supply chain (Press Release)
Cologne/Münster/Göttingen/Berlin – A civil society alliance is calling on Aurubis AG to ensure more transparency in the copper supply chain. Further, the group should refrain from paying a dividend this year – and use the freed-up funds of almost 57 million EUR to set up an environmental fund, a health fund, and a social fund.
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the Christian Initiative Romero (CIR), the Bergwerk Peru campaign, Goliathwatch, and the umbrella organization of Critical Shareholders accused Aurubis AG of not making enough effort to comply with human rights standards and environmental requirements in its supply chain. In addition, Europe's largest copper group is failing to meet the requirements of human rights due diligence formulated by the German government in the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP).
"Aurubis committed itself to a careful selection of its contractual partners – at home and abroad. This must also apply to Norway," demanded Yvonne Bangert from the Society for Threatened Peoples. Aurubis published a strategy paper on sustainability, emphasizing its commitment to environmental and climate protection, and the company also stated that it is committed to the human rights of the indigenous communities in its project areas. The Sami, who keep reindeer herds in the region of the future Nussir mine, are against new copper mining projects. From their point of view, the plans are to be seen as a violation of their right to free, prior, informed consent. Thus, Aurubis should not fulfill its copper contract with Nussir without the express consent of the Sami reindeer herders. Nils Utsi, chairman of the Repparfjord reindeer herders: "The mine is in our animals' delivery room. If it is really put into operation, we will lose our herds."
"Copper production pollutes the environment and causes damage to the health of the population in the mining regions and near the copper smelters," stated Markus Dufner of the umbrella organization of Critical Shareholders. "That's why we propose not to grant discharge to Aurubis' Executive Board and Supervisory Board. By foregoing dividends, shareholders could contribute to mitigating the environmental damage, the health-related problems, and the negative social impact of copper production."