Sustainable Mineral Sourcing: Understanding corporate practices of stakeholder engagement and mineral supply chain due diligence in the Electronics Industry.
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A wide range of minerals are used to perform vital functions in the consumer electronics that we are dependent on in contemporary society. These minerals are extracted, processed, smelted and used to manufacture electronic goods through a highly complex global value chain. The convoluted system of actors and exchanges within this creates unique challenges in tracing minerals to their source, inhibiting the governance of sustainability across the various tiers of the value chain. In this thesis, current literature is reviewed to investigate the structure (i.e. actors) and composition (i.e. policy instruments) of sustainable and responsible mineral sourcing efforts. Theoretical literature is also assessed to develop a conceptual framework for analysing the level of governance effectiveness in terms of sustainability, focusing on downstream electronics companies due to their responsibility and leading role in managing actors and sustainability across the mineral value chain. Conclusions highlight that despite progress within the electronics industry, there is considerable variation between companies when implementing policies for sustainable mineral sourcing. This thesis makes recommendations based on how policies can be more effectively implemented and emphasises critical policy areas where companies can maximise sustainability outcomes.