Increasing consumption and demand for special and precious metals brings about associated risks if the supply chain is disrupted or constrained. These articles considers the ecological and social impacts of raw materials supply chain contributing to SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).
According to the reports on critical raw materials for the EU, a raw material is considered critical if it has a high economic importance to the EU combined with high supply risk. Supply risk is considered to arise from a combination of several factors, namely a high concentration of production in countries with poor governance, limited material substitutability, and poor end-of-life recycling rates. A number of industry activities, policy initiatives and research projects have recently been initiated in Europe with the aim to secure an adequate supply of raw materials.