The article discusses the significant growth in global demand for batteries, particularly lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, driven by the imperative to combat climate change through electrification. Projections suggest a market size of over 4.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) and a market value exceeding $400 billion by 2030. This demand surge is primarily attributed to regulatory shifts towards sustainability, increased consumer preference for eco-friendly technologies, and commitments by major automakers to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
However, the battery industry faces substantial environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges throughout its value chain. These challenges include environmental impacts like land degradation and biodiversity loss, social issues such as labour violations and violations of indigenous rights, especially in emerging markets, and governance concerns like conflicts of interest and corruption. Addressing these ESG challenges is vital for the industry’s sustainable growth and its ability to meet the global demand for batteries.
To overcome these challenges and build a sustainable, circular, and resilient battery industry, stakeholders must prioritise collaboration, standardised processes, and data transparency. By focusing on sustainability and circularity, the battery sector can differentiate itself, create value, and protect the environment. Achieving these goals is essential for a green and sustainable future as battery technology continues to play a pivotal role in the transition to cleaner energy sources and electrification across various sectors.