ICA creates global standard for responsible copper

Image courtesy of Eric Schrader on Flickr

The International Copper Association (ICA) has announced its creation of the ‘Copper Mark,’ a global standard to ensure responsible production and trading of copper.  

The ICA’s more than 500 global program partners bring together the copper industry to develop and defend markets for copper and to make a contribution to society’s sustainable-development goals.

Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Copper Mark is to be launched this year.

“For the copper industry, as well as for other extractive industries, proving responsible business practices is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a commercial imperative,” Michèle Bruelhart, executive director of the Copper Mark, said in a media statement.

“Businesses are expected to look beyond shareholder profit, and to make purpose and responsibility key parts of their mission and operations.”  

The Copper Mark uses an existing tool, the Risk Readiness Assessment, to address 32 issue areas across environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics.

“In doing so, the Copper Mark seeks to improve practices across the spectrum of producers globally and covering all major areas of responsible production,” Bruelhart said.

The project’s next major milestone will be seen this year, with the launch of its formal application process. The organisation will begin accepting applications from copper producers (including mines, smelters and refiners) this year, while applications from copper fabricators are planned to be accepted within two to three years. 

“The new measure seeks to monitor the performance of copper mines and refineries around the globe, assessed against responsible production criteria. Unlike other sustainability programs currently in place, the Copper Mark targets copper specifically,” said GlobalData’s Mining Technology writer Scarlett Evans.  

“Copper has gained a reputation as the material of our future, and with countries doubling down on their eco-efforts, demand is set to spike in the coming years. Holding such powerful sway over the global energy sector, the need to legitimise the metal’s supply chain has never been more urgent.”

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