We want to source our metals and minerals sustainably and responsibly. So how do we? 

We start by working closely with our supply chains and industry partners to address potential harmful effects on people and the environment.


At Ørsted, our vision is to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. To achieve this, we build and operate a range of renewable energy solutions, namely wind farms, solar centres, battery storage facilities, and more.  

For this, we’re dependent on specific metals and minerals which are extracted from the ground, such as rare earth elements for magnets in wind turbines, copper for cables to transport electricity, and lithium for batteries.  

Like the tech and automotive industries, we in the renewable energy sector need to actively guard against any harmful effects the mining of these metals and minerals could have on people and the environment. 

Our responsibility

We believe that the growth of renewable energy should not come at the expense of human rights, neither in our own operations nor in our supply chains. And looking into metals and minerals becomes even more important when you consider that building an offshore wind farm requires more metals compared with building, for example, a gas-fired power plant with a similar capacity. 

What we know: potential adverse effects 

The mining industry can bring economic benefits to the countries where metals and minerals are extracted, for example through creating jobs and tax revenue, which can be used to improve infrastructure.  

However, mining can also have unwanted side effects, including pollution, the displacement of communities, precarious working conditions, and effects on biodiversity. 

We are not directly involved in the mining of metals and minerals, nor do we have direct control over the conditions under which they are mined, because this work occurs deep in our supply chains. However, as an end-user we want to promote responsible and sustainable practices.

Simplified supply chain for renewable energy products

Simplified infographic about supply chain for renewable energy products


What we’re doing: the Ørsted Metals and Minerals Programme 

Supply chains tend to be long and complex. If we are to address any risks, we need to work together with other stakeholders, not only across the renewable energy sector, but also in other sectors.  

This is why, in 2021, we developed the Ørsted Metals and Minerals Programme. The programme is scoped around ten metals that end up in our turbines, foundations, cables, components, solar panels or energy storage systems. These metals are cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, lithium, manganese, nickel, rare earth metals, silicon, and tellurium.  

The work in the Metals and Minerals Programme has three strategic pillars. 

  1. Supplier engagement
    Twice a year we talk with our key first-tier suppliers, to align our supply chains with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. This means we’re asking suppliers to ensure they have strong company management systems and to identify and address any social and environmental risks in the supply chains. 

  2. Supply chain transparency
    To increase transparency on the origins of the metals we use, we’re working with suppliers to map our individual supply chains. We’re also working with industry associations to create more transparency in general, including by creating a ‘chain of custody’ system in which the origin of metals can be certified. 

  3. Industry partnerships
    We’re raising the topic with our partners and in industry groups such as WindEurope, which brings together all large developers and original equipment manufacturers for wind energy in Europe. Furthermore, we were the first energy company to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA). This gives us the opportunity to learn from end-users in, for example, the electronics and automotive industries, who have been facing similar issues for a longer period. 

Our commitment

Engaging with our suppliers and industry partners has shown us that there is momentum to address risks relating to the mining of the metals and minerals that fuel the renewable energy transition. 

However, it has also brought home to us the full extent of the challenge. We are committed to taking on this challenge and to working together with others to ensure that the growth of renewable energy is beneficial, and sustainable, for all those involved.   

Sustainability programmes

We work with our suppliers to help them meet our social, environmental, and ethical standards.