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The Cobalt Development Institute (CDI) aims to “promote the responsible and sustainable use of  cobalt in all forms”.  To support this aim, the CDI is looking to develop a sustainability profile for  cobalt which will outline the environmental effects and the socio-economic benefits, and highlight  the “sustainability attributes” of cobalt substances used in various applications. This new work is currently underway, and further updates will be posted as the work programme develops. 

The diverse range of applications for cobalt substances encompasses many different supply/value chains, including several uses that are important to the Sustainability and Climate Change agendas, such as: Batteries (Rechargeable, Hybrid-electric vehicles, etc.); Catalysts (Clean or Eco-friendly Fuels); Surface engineering (Automobile, Aeronautical, Wind Turbines, etc.); Renewable Energy Production (Biogas); and Healthcare and Diagnostics Industries. Cobalt and its compounds play a fundamental role in improving the efficient use of resources, and the recyclability of end-products. Through their special characteristics, they also act as a “technology enabler” providing opportunities for innovation and new applications for cobalt.

The Cobalt Secretariat participates in several International and European fora where key sustainability issues are being collectively addressed by the metals industry. These include the Materials Stewardship activities of the ICMM, and the Sustainability activities of Eurometaux. The key topics areas of interest to the CDI include: Resource Efficiency, Critical Raw Materials (CRM), Innovation, Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). 


Many of the industries that use cobalt and its compounds are interested to describe their product’s environmental performance, and are asking their suppliers for more information about the environmental effects of cobalt production.  In response to this growing demand for more information and for improved datasets, the CDI has initiated a study to develop a new industry-averaged Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) for cobalt, and to conduct Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) modelling to better understand and describe the environmental effects of cobalt production. A summary report on the findings from the new LCI-LCA study will soon be posted on this website. The new ‘averaged’ cobalt LCI dataset(s) would become available afterwards, on request to the Cobalt Secretariat. 

Multi-metallic LCA Initiatives - The CDI has also been working together with other metal commodity associations from the wider metals industry to align our approaches to LCI and LCA studies. This includes participation in a recent multi-metallic LCA initiative, headed by the International Copper Association, which has led to the development of a new multi-metallic LCI-LCA Guidance document.

For further information please contact: 

          Ms Carol Pettit
          The Cobalt Secretariat
          Direct Tel: +44 (0)1483 510473
          Office Tel: + 44 (0)1483 578877




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