Bettercoal is a global, not-for-profit initiative that has been established by a group of major European utilities to promote the continuous improvement of corporate responsibility in the coal supply chain, with a specific focus on the mines themselves. Through membership of the Bettercoal initiative, Drax aims to ensure that the coal industry respects people’s rights and makes a positive contribution to the social and economic livelihoods of workers, producers and communities.
The Bettercoal Code sets out 10 social, environmental and ethical principles. It is not a certification body, but outlines a process for assessing coal suppliers’ performance against the ten principles. Suppliers complete self-assessment questionnaires and approved assessors conduct Bettercoal Assessments. Continuous improvement plans are developed jointly with the supplier and summary results are shared with Bettercoal members.
All Bettercoal-engaged mines sign a letter of commitment at the outset, which outlines their responsibilities. If a mine then falls short of these expectations, such as by not following up on the continuous improvement plan put in place by their auditors, then they would lose their status as a ‘Bettercoal-engaged mine’.
Drax ended its membership of Bettercoal in June 2020.