Material Change for Renewables: A Guide to Responsible Sourcing for the Clean Energy Transition

The global shift towards clean energy technologies is a pivotal step in mitigating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, the production of these technologies heavily relies on the extraction of minerals and metals, raising concerns about responsible sourcing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The Material Change for Renewables report, compiled by TDi Sustainability, addresses these challenges and provides valuable insights into the responsible sourcing considerations for the clean energy transition.

The report emphasises the critical role of metals in the future of clean energy, estimating that three billion tons of metals will be required to produce the clean energy technology necessary to limit global warming to under 2°C. This staggering demand calls for a comprehensive approach to ensure that mineral production aligns with sustainable and ethical practices.

One of the key highlights of the report is the focus on supply chain due diligence and stakeholder expectations. It underscores the rising stakeholder expectations for strong ESG performance in supply chains and the need for sustainable resource use and resilient supply chains. The report also delves into the salience of ESG issues and compares coverage of voluntary sustainability standards, offering a comprehensive overview of the challenges and potential mitigation strategies.

Furthermore, the report presents material profiles for three critical components of clean energy technologies: aluminium, steel, and silicon. These profiles shed light on the ESG considerations associated with these materials and their potential impact on future demand trends. In response to the findings, TDi Sustainability recommends that producers and purchasers of clean energy take proactive measures, both individually and collectively, to assess, prioritise, and mitigate the highest-risk ESG issues present in supply chains. The report also advocates for developing supplier codes of conduct, evaluating supplier ESG performance, and identifying applicable voluntary sustainability standards to address priority ESG issues.

The Material Change for Renewables report is a valuable resource for companies and stakeholders involved in the clean energy transition. It offers actionable insights and recommendations on navigating the complex landscape of responsible sourcing and ESG considerations.

Watch the webinar

TDI hosted a webinar on 8 May 2024 hosted by TDi’s CEO, Assheton Carter to discuss the findings from the Material Change for Renewables report. The webinar highlighted key challenges in mineral supply chains for solar panels and wind turbines, and explored effective approaches and resources for overcoming these challenges.


Download the Material Change for Renewables report and contact us to discuss how TDi can support your company’s evolution to clean energy.

Download the free Material Change for Renewables report

The Material Change for Renewables report is a summary guide that looks into responsible sourcing for the clean energy transition. It is a must-read for companies and stakeholders driving the evolution of clean energy.

Download the pdf to gain crucial insights into the challenges and considerations surrounding renewable energy technologies.

Download the report