The Bettercoal initiative
Together with our suppliers, we intend to comply with and promote international environmental and social standards. Cooperating with other energy companies is absolutely essential in order to be in a position to exert more pressure and achieve sustainable production and transport conditions in the supply chain for hard coal. In 2012, we joined forces with other large purchasers of hard coal to launch the Bettercoal Initiative. By the end of 2016, 13 of the big European energy companies were already members of Bettercoal (2015: 12). The Dutch ports also joined the initiative as associate members.
Bettercoal audits hard coal production sites throughout the world and presents the results to its members. A binding improvement process based on the shortfalls identified follows each audit and self-assessment. The names of the producers which have undergone a self-assessment or an on-site audit are regularly listed on the Bettercoal website – provided that the mines agree to publica-tion. In June 2016, Bettercoal published its second annual report. At the end of 2016, the Betercoal database included comprehensive self-assessments of 26 mines, the results of six on-site audits and a renewed audit incorporated in the agreed improvement process. This provides information on the key potential supply countries for Europe.
Bettercoal is a long-term project. The initiative initiates necessary improvements regarding environmental conservation, mining and working conditions and accompanies the implementations. For that Bettercoal engages in an intensive dialogue with all interested and affected groups, among them with the mining companies and operators.
The aim of Bettercoal is to bring about improvements in all the important production countries and leverage coal production at an acceptable environmental and social standard across the world.