Cobalt is critical to the renewable energy transition. How can we minimize its social and environmental cost?

Demand for cobalt is expected to soar in coming years as electric vehicles take to roads everywhere.

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Photo courtesy of Fairphone from Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
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As demand for electric vehicles grows, so does demand for cobalt, a key ingredient in lithium ion batteries. Photo courtesy of pxfuel

“Companies can get clarity on where they’re sourcing cobalt from, and with that knowledge we can work on improving the practices of those sources.” — Leah Butler

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A new pilot plant operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., is testing a process for recovering and recycling cobalt from lithium ion batteries. Photo courtesy of Sumitomo Metal Mining
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