Introducing the first holistic worldwide scheme to standardise the evaluation of social, environmental and ethical practices across the raw materials value chain

CERA 4in1, the global raw materials certification scheme, has finalised its Performance Standard (‘CPS’) for mining and processing activities worldwide.

The CPS was first published as a working model in April 2019, before being presented and initially discussed during the CERA stakeholder workshop at the RawMaterials Summit in Berlin in May 2019.

This model was then shared with partners, certification and auditing experts, potential clients and with the EIT RawMaterials. Following an extensive testing and review process, the overall revision and modification of the CPS completed in December 2020 and the final new CERA 4in1 Performance Standard Version 1.0 is now published.

CERA 4in1 will only achieve its purpose if it presents real people and real companies working within the raw materials value chain with a useful, intuitive alternative – this is why listening and learning from our partners has been so important.

Dr Andreas Hucke, CERA 4in1 Programme Director

The CPS review process has involved collaboration with companies and institutions from a wide range of sectors from mining to non-profit organisations. Their feedback allowed significant and beneficial revisions to be included in the final standard, extending the CPS to guarantee a better understanding about its applicability and functionality.

CERA 4in1 project funded by EIT RawMaterials has named the new structuring of the CPS standard ‘CERA 4in1-CAMD-Structure’. CAMD stands for ‘Commitment, Assessment, Monitoring, Disclosure and Improvement’ and is comparable to the OECD’s 5 Step Management Approach and the PDAC approach of the ISO management standards. This important step towards harmonisation should also serve to create a consistent certification landscape.

The CPS is the first step towards realising a holistic and comprehensive sustainability, environmental, social and corporate governance standard completely covering any kind of mining and processing activities.  We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will bring.

Dr Andreas Hucke, CERA 4in1 Programme Director

Using blockchain as a traceability mechanism for CERA 4in1 certification

The CERA 4in1 certification scheme is the first holistic, worldwide applicable scheme of its kind to universalise and standardise the evaluation of social, environmental and ethical practices across the mineral raw materials value chain. By using blockchain as a traceability mechanism, CERA 4in1 intends to prove the origin of a product from the sustainably producing source to the finished product.

CERA 4in1 divides the value-chain into four separate certificates. CERA 4in1’s Readiness Standard assesses exploration and evaluation; Performance Standard assesses mining, processing and refining; Chain of Custody standard covers run-of-mine and traded commodities; and Final Product Standard evaluates the end product and its components.

Under CERA 4in1, applicant value chain actors apply to the CERA 4in1 Association for candidacy and in pursuit of certification for their exploration, extraction, processing or handling and final labelling of mineral raw materials. Applicants’ existing set-ups and the comprehensible adequate implementation of CERA 4in1 requirements are audited and compared to the relevant CERA 4in1 criteria with a finding report identifying areas in which protocols do not meet the CERA 4in1 standard, a CERA 4in1 certificate is only issued when these findings are closed.

CERA 4in1 project has been in development since 2015, initially within DMT GROUP, an international independent engineering and consulting company headquartered in Germany, before a formal project consortium, funded by EIT RawMaterials, was formed in 2017. This consortium has been drawn from some of Europe’s leading raw materials research institutions and technical service providers, including: Leiden University in Netherlands, University of Leoben in Austria, Luleå University of Technology, Research Institutes of Sweden, TÜV NORD CERT GmbH and DMT GROUP.

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