4 Standards in 1 System
The value chains of raw materials are complex and individual. CERA creates a comprehensive and accessible certification system that appreciates the complexity of raw materials and their value chains. At the same time it contributes to the harmonisation of existing certification systems.
The primary flow of raw materials starts with exploration and ends with consumption. In addition to the primary flow, though, secondary flows, for instance recycled products, increase the complexity of value chains. The value chain is divided into so-called upstream and downstream sections.
To optimise the standard system for every value chain player, as well as to comprehend the entire value chain, four different standards are being developed that address different aspects while building on each other. Each standard is supported by its respective implementation details.
The CERA Readiness Standard sets the criteria for the inclusion of environmental, social and governance criteria into the evaluation of mineral and ore reserves and defines the criteria for responsible exploration work.
Certification under the CERA Readiness Standard confirms for investors or exploration companies that the CERA standard for environmental, social and governance criteria within the pre-investment phase has been met.
Currently, the Readiness standard certifies based on document analysis, with CERA pre-investment studies such as pre-feasibility, feasibility or bankable studies as well as regulations for exploration under consideration of sustainability criteria.
The CERA Performance Standard considers mining, processing and refining activities and defines a set of core criteria which every operation in the upstream supply chain must fulfil in order to receive certification.
The Performance Standard is not only applicable to large mining companies, beneficiation activities or processing, but also to the operations and activities of small-scale and artisanal practices.
The Performance Standard is the most advanced in its market-readiness of CERA’s four certification schemes and will begin undergoing two pilot projects for cobalt and lithium projects in late 2019.
The CERA Chain of Custody Standard (CCS) refers to traded commodities: run-of-mine, concentrate, primary and secondary raw material. The CERA Chain of Custody Standard defines criteria for ensuring appropriate management systems for traceability of responsible sourced commodities.
The CCS sets out requirements for the management of traded commodities, defining commodity- specific accounting methods and chain of custody eligibility. CERA certification under the CCS allows manufacturers, traders and handlers to ensure that raw materials purchased have not been mixed with products resulting from conflict-affected mining, processing and refining activities.
The Final Product Standard considers the end product and certifies that constituent components consist of materials that have been sourced and traded in accordance with sustainability subjects, enabling informed decision-making by consumers.
CFS Certification establishes clear rules on how responsibly sourced materials are declared when included in consumer goods, enabling the consumer to identify where and in what concentration certified materials are present in an item’s makeup.
The structure and systematics of the Implementation Details follow their respective standard. The Implementation Details contain further information, notes and explanatory texts to the rules and requirements included in the standards. The content of the Implementation Details are subdivided into three categories:
1. Conditions of the specific raw material.
2. General production activities.
3. General governance activities.
The Implementation Details are managed within the CERA database. The database software generates an individual document with the specific Implementation Details for each certification depending on the input information, for example raw material, country, extraction method and processing step(s). This ensures that raw material and process-specific aspects are taken into account. The certification criteria and requirements collected in the database are accessible to stakeholders involved in CERA certification.
These documents lay out how the organisation seeking to be certified needs to implement the standards criteria and are specific towards a raw material and to the needs and scope of the particular value chain player.
The overall CERA system enables the certification of the entire raw materials value chain, eventually allowing for seamless sustainability certification to be achieved.