Equitable Origin is the world’s first stakeholder-based, independent, voluntary standards system for energy production and generation established in 2009 with the mission of partnering with communities, business, and government to support transparent, sustainable and equitable energy development that benefits all stakeholders.


“We are pleased to be partnering with Bettercoal to advance responsible energy development. We look forward to collaborating with Bettercoal to build on our respective standards and due diligence systems to support members in identifying responsible sourcing risks and opportunities that exist in other energy value chains.”

The World Coal Association is the global network for the coal industry. Formed of major international coal producers, it works to demonstrate and gain acceptance for the fundamental role coal plays in achieving a sustainable, lower carbon energy future.


“We signed an MOU between our two organisations in 2017, reflecting the strengthening relationship between WCA and Bettercoal. We work together constructively on our common objectives, particularly on the issue of the sustainable production and use of coal. Bettercoal has assisted us in our work on coal and the Sustainable Development Goals, helping us to build relationships with key stakeholders as we organise a series of roundtables this year. We’ve also benefited from their expertise, as the Bettercoal team have provided feedback and guidance on our work on coal and the SDGs. We’re looking forward to further collaborative efforts, as we support each other’s work to promote sustainable coal mining.”

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is a globally focused non-profit organisation with a mission to protect people and the environment directly affected by mining. Founded in 2006, IRMA offers independent third-party verification and certification against a comprehensive standard for all mined materials that provides ‘one-stop coverage’ of the full range of issues related to the impacts of industrial-scale mines.

Bettercoal is a Member of IRMA and can be found on IRMA’s Responsible Mining Map, with additional information on Bettercoal located here. Bettercoal and IRMA are currently discussing opportunities for the two standards to work more closely together.





ISEAL is the global membership association for credible sustainability standards. Its members are sustainability standards – such as Fairtrade International, FSC, MSC, UTZ and RJC – that meet the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice and promote measurable change through open, rigorous and accessible certification systems.

Bettercoal supports the ISEAL mission and has been an ISEAL Subscriber since April 2015. Where possible, Bettercoal aims to follow the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice and Credibility Principles in developing its standards and assurance systems.

Between December 2017 – May 2018, Bettercoal is participating in a project on Interoperability in Metal, Mineral and Mining Sector Sustainability Standards.

This project between the ISEAL Alliance and the Extractives and Development project of GIZ (German international cooperation) explores the interoperability potential for metal, mineral and mining (MMM) sector sustainability standards to improve their individual and collective efficiencies and effectiveness as a mean to increase the sustainability impacts of the sector. The project uses the term interoperability as the degree to which diverse systems, organisations and individuals are able to work together to achieve a common goal. The goal of the project is to facilitate exchanges between MMM sustainability standards, based on sector priorities, and to set the stage for deeper synergies, efficiencies and collaboration.

Between November 2017 and July 2018, Bettercoal is also participating in the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Working Group, a project of the ISEAL Innovation Fund.

Equitable Origin, in collaboration with its project partners, COICA (the Coordinating Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, aim to produce a practical guidance for FPIC that is developed in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and can be used by standard-setting bodies and assurance providers. The goals of the project are:

  • To share knowledge, experience, examples and guidance on how FPIC can be successfully implemented;
  • To identify what communities need to design and manage (not just participate in) FPIC processes;
  • To develop tools for communities and assurance providers to verify whether FPIC has been achieved.

For more information, please click here.


ResponsibleSteel is a new multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative established in 2017. ResponsibleSteel is working to develop a standard and certification system for the steel industry, aiming to launch by the end of 2019. Bettercoal is an Associate Member of ResponsibleSteel and participates in the Mining Working Group.


The IEA Clean Coal Centre plays an active role in an extensive network of organisations whose work is relevant to our own. This informal association of knowledge partners facilitates the sharing of information and results on how to reduce the environmental impact of using coal and enhance energy security in many regions where coal is readily available.


Bettercoal is collaborating for a responsible metals supply chains

One of Bettercoal’s core value is stakeholder engagement. We engage formally and informally with a wide range of stakeholders, recognising the importance of working alongside other organisations and initiatives. As such, Bettercoal is proud to inform all stakeholders that we are actively working with several organisations to promote international responsible business conduct and address severe negative impact to people and the environment connected to the metals supply chains to maximise efforts. This multi-stakeholder collaboration takes the form of the International Responsible Business Conduct Agreement for the Metals Sector, and also enables us to contribute to realising the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well. The other participants in the collaboration include companies, the government, industry associations, NGOs and trade unions.

Why Bettercoal joined the RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector as a Supporting Organisation

Coal currently plays an essential role in the creation of metals. For instance, global steel production is dependent on coal. Over 71% of the steel produced today uses coal. And metals are essential for the production of many goods and technologies and are crucial in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The implementation of the Agreement will include:

  • providing companies with the necessary knowledge, instruments and other resources tools to be able understand and/or address potential risks in their supply chains (from extraction to recycling),
  • identifying and addressing potential risks linked to the secondary materials (metal scrap) supply chains, and
  • encouraging relevant actors in the metals supply chains (at the national and international level) to adopt and implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

Executive Director of Bettercoal, Anne-Claire Howard, explained that “being a supportive organisation of the RBC Agreement for the Metals Sector is a unique opportunity for us to ensure that the role of coal in the metals supply chain is not overlooked and that – in the transition to a low carbon economy – we ensure that environmental, social and governance impacts of the coal value chain are taken into account for the benefit of all people impacted by the industry, workers and coal mining communities”.

Bettercoal encourages all the stakeholders in the coal value chain related to metals production to support and join our effort in working towards responsible metals supply chains.

Additional information on this initiative can be found in the website or by contacting the secretariat at metaalconvenant@ser.nl.



In 2014, the energy companies Essent (now RWE), EPZ, Nuon, E.ON Benelux (now Uniper) and GDF SUEZ (now ENGIE) signed a covenant with the Minister for Foreign Trade and development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen and the Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, which confirmed concrete agreements on the efforts of the Dutch government and the energy companies that should lead to improvements in the coal supply chain. Bettercoal is the identified industry mechanism in the covenant through which the power companies conduct independent assessments at their coal suppliers.


Bettercoal has been officially registered as Participant to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) on the 17th of August 2017.

As part of Bettercoal’s support to the UNGC and commitment to the Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, we recognise that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) plays a significant role in continuously improving our world.