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TÜV NORD launches first ESG raw materials certification

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

German certification company TÜV NORD has launched the TÜV NORD CERA 4in1. This ESG certification concept is the first holistic, globally applicable, four-step process for mineral raw materials along the entire value chain up to the final product.

CERA 4in1 has arrived with the launch of the TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS), the first of four standards that will be rolled out to the market over the coming years. The CPS supports production facilities in the areas of mining, processing, smelting, and refining in meeting ESG requirements (environmental and social responsibility, and corporate governance).

As well as being the key factors for a sustainable future, investors are increasingly interested in ESG criteria for evaluating businesses, with higher ESG performance correlating with higher returns, lower risk, and long-term business sustainability.

The certification landscape for the raw materials sector is currently highly complex, with multiple certifications available across each stage of the value chain, for individual materials, and from market to market. CERA 4in1 seeks to offer a unified certification process, ensuring global consistency and enabling companies, shareholders, and customers to meet and track ESG requirements from mining to the end product.

Raw materials play an essential role in addressing modern challenges, such as the sustainable transformation of society, digitalisation, the transition to renewable energy, and green transportation.

The EU-funded TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 certification system, with its four integrated standards, is equipped to help adhere to ESG requirements and fulfil the expectations of all stakeholders, including investors, shareholders, clients, business partners, governments, employees, and consumers. The system will also enable end consumers and businesses to make sustainable purchasing decisions.

The four-step solution with its integrated standards – the Readiness Standard (CRS), the Performance Standard (CPS), the Chain of Custody Standard (CCS), and the Final Product Standard (CFS) – targets all kinds of minerals, including copper, cobalt, and aluminium, all around the world and is applicable to companies of all sizes.

The CPS’s impact has already been tested in practice. A major German car manufacturer carried out a comprehensive sustainability audit in accordance with the CPS in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of a pilot project finalised in 2023 in collaboration with a cobalt mining company. In another pilot, the mutual recognition of a national ESG standard with the international CERA 4in1 standards was successfully trialled as part of a pilot project with the Spanish holding company ICL Iberia. This means that national producers can also use CERA 4in1 to fulfil international sustainability requirements and expand their markets.

Sandra Gerhartz, Managing Director, TÜV NORD CERT, said: “Sustainability certifications in the raw materials sector are extremely complex and often vary significantly. A smartphone typically requires about 60 different elements to produce. Therefore, to future-proof and enable the raw materials sector to facilitate the large-scale transition to renewable energy, and safely produce products including mobile phones, laptops, and electric vehicles, we need uniformity and accountability. We believe the CERA 4in1 certification concept is the solution.”

Dr. Andreas Hucke, TIC-Manager CERA 4in1, TÜV NORD CERT, added: “CPS enables mining companies of all sizes to receive a clear route to meeting the sustainability requirements of international markets. CPS certification contributes to the long-term profitability and competitiveness of a company in the raw materials sector, making it a trustworthy business partner that demonstrates responsibility.”

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