CERA
Performance
Standard

Introduction

Sustainable development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as introduced by the United Nations in 2016 are strategic topics recognized by the signatory countries as well as their respective legislators and industries. Due to the often massive influences of mining on the environment and society, the mining industry has a crucial role to play in achieving the SDGs. Furthermore, increasing demand for raw materials of the industry pose significant challenges for the provision of sustainable supply chains.

In order to support the achievement of the SDGs, the CERA certification system (CERA) was introduced for the provision and identification of sustainable raw material supply chains. It aims to provide means for sustainable production practices as well as traceability of sustainably sourced materials.

CERA has been introduced with the support of EIT RawMaterials in 2019 based on the following core components:

  • Independency, Transparency and Impartiality
  • Comprehensive setup: Applicability of CERA along the entire value chain, for all commodities and all organisations, on a global scale
  • Verifiable traceability: Tracking of sustainably sourced materials along the value chain
  • Multi-Stakeholder approach: Involvement of different interest groups
  • Cross Recognition of existing standards

CERA features a set of four standards as displayed in the figure below. Each of these standards tackles a different part of the value chain, providing different means to foster sustainable production and/or informed decision-making by customers.

For further information on CERA and its corresponding set of standards, please refer to the CERA Manual. The subject of this document is the description of the performance standard within the certification system.

The subject of this document is the description of the performance standard within the CERA certification system.

CERA Performance Standard

The CERA Performance Standard is an integral part of the CERA Certification Scheme. It defines relevant criteria to promote sustainable production practices.

The Performance Standard is divided into three sections, each of which covers a different ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) aspect.

  1. Corporate Governance
  2. Social Responsibility
  3. Environmental Responsibility

Each section provides a short description of the topic’s importance for sustainable production practices. Furthermore, each part offers

  • Rules: These set out the basic principles for sustainable production practices within the respective section. For each topic covered under the Social & Environmental Responsibility sections, the rules follow the same pattern, to allow for synergetic development within the organisation.
  • Requirements: Each rule is supported by various requirements. Each requirement provides a more in-depth description on how the rules shall be implemented.

This is Version 0.1 of the Performance Standard, which was published in March 2019. Version 0.1 is the current version to be used for certification and is effective from the date of publication.

Application and Scope

The CERA Performance Standard provides best practice criteria for sustainable production. The standard is thus applicable to all organisations that are part of the raw material value chain, and are striving to measure and improve their performance. The CERA Performance Standard aims at companies active in the extraction and processing of raw materials.

All organisations aiming for certification under the CERA Performance Standard will have to comply with all the rules and requirements of this Performance Standard. The standards rules and requirements are therefore displayed on a generic level, allowing all types of organisations to be certified. The specific aspects of each commodity and its extraction, processing and refinement are regulated in the implementation documents.

SECTION 1

Corporate Governance

1.1 Legal Compliance

A sustainable organisation ensures that all relevant requirements (legal, social or any other form) are met, so that business activities may continue. This section specifies the minimum requirements for legal compliance, which ensure that an organisation may operate within its context without being at risk of facing legal issues.

Rules

  • The organisation shall obtain all statutory approvals necessary for operation under applicable national legislation.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop a policy set out to ensure legal compliance.
  • The organisation shall implement a system for identifying relevant and applicable legislation.
  • The organisation shall operate a system for addressing non-compliance with applicable legislation.
  • The organisation shall maintain sufficient documentation of all relevant statutory approvals.

1.2 International best practice

Ensuring continuous improvement within the organisation can be achieved by strategically analysing and implementing relevant best practice guidelines. This section sets out criteria to assess relevant best practice guidelines and derive actions for sustainable development.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed national laws and regulations that define best practice with regard to sustainable production practices.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall implement and operate systems for identifying and analysing compliance with relevant international best practice guidelines for achieving the SDGs.  

1.3 Business Integrity

Becoming a sustainable organisation requires accountability for all effects and consequences of business activities, whether these are direct or indirect. This section sets out various rules and requirements for promoting the integration of business integrity into day-to-day business.

Rules

  • The organisation shall ensure a high level of integrity when conducting its business.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop, document and implement a policy prohibiting bribery and other forms of corruption by employees and contractors.
  • The organisation shall implement systems for identifying and managing risks related to all forms of corruption.
  • The organisation shall refrain from any sort of business activity that support criminal organisations, illegal armed groups or illegal political organisations.
  • The organisation shall disclose the total monetary value of financial assistance received from and paid to any government.

1.4 Stakeholder involvement

Stakeholder involvement is an integral part of sustainable business conduct. The process of stakeholder communication should be proactive, accountable, inclusive and transparent to allow the organisation to perform to its best ability while fostering development opportunities for its stakeholders. This section sets out rules and requirements to initiate a comprehensive stakeholder involvement process.

Rules

  • The organisation shall actively initiate and maintain a strong stakeholder dialogue.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall perform a comprehensive analysis of stakeholders relevant to its business activities.
  • The organisation shall develop a plan for engaging with its most relevant stakeholders.
  • The organisation's relevant stakeholders shall be involved in the organisation's due diligence process/analysis.
  • The organisation shall disclose to its stakeholders its performance with regard to the CERA Performance Standard.

1.5 Supply chain due diligence

An organisation’s sustainability performance should be based on the impacts it causes by its direct activities (e.g. production process) and indirect activities (e.g. business relationships with suppliers). Thus, it is important for the organisation to analyse and understand its supply chain, in order to mitigate negative impacts and identify and strengthen relationships with sustainable suppliers. This section sets out rules and requirements on how to perform due diligence on the organisation’s supply chain.

Rules

  • The organisation shall implement a sustainability due diligence process (for its supply chain), following the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop a policy/procedure for addressing sustainability issues (incl. human rights) within its supply chain.
  • The organisation shall assess all relevant suppliers for sustainability risks.
  • The organisation shall mitigate risks, monitor and track progress.
  • The organisation shall disclose the outcome of its due diligence to its stakeholders.

1.6 Complaints and Grievance Mechanism

An accessible and effective complaints and grievance mechanism significantly contributes to the success of strong stakeholder involvement. It provides a platform for stakeholders to raise concerns and means for the organisation to timely react to these. This section sets out rules and requirements for the implementation of a complaints and grievance mechanism.

Rules

  • The organisation shall implement a complaint and grievance mechanism on an operational level.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall appoint an executive-level position with responsibility for the grievance mechanism.
  • The organisation shall develop a grievance procedure, enabling all stakeholders to raise complaints.
  • The organisation shall monitor the performance of its grievance mechanism.
  • The organisation shall disclose the performance of its grievance mechanism.

1.7 Management approach

Implementation of sustainability aspects into business requires a structured approach. This approach is usually defined within the scope of a management system. This section sets out management system requirements, which enable the organisation to systematically address the CERA Performance Standard criteria. The requirements follow the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach of current ISO standards in order to leverage synergies with existing systems within the organisation. It provides an iterative process to achieve continuous improvement.

  • Plan: establish objectives and processes necessary to deliver desired results
  • Do: implementation of planned processes
  • Check: monitoring and reporting of processes and results
  • Act: actions for continuous improvement

Rules

  • The organisation shall implement strong management systems in order to address the topics covered by this Performance Standard and/or which are relevant to its business activities.

Requirements

PLAN

  • The organisation shall systematically analyse and identify sustainability issues/risks that are relevant to its business activities.
  • The organisation shall analyse and identify all relevant internal and external stakeholders relevant to its business activities, as well as their respective expectations.
  • The organisation's management shall demonstrate commitment to implementing the CERA Performance Standard criteria by appointing a management representative.
  • The organisation's management shall establish and implement a sustainability policy that is appropriate within the context of the organisation's material sustainability issues.
  • The organisation's management shall ensure that assigned roles and relevant policies are communicated to relevant internal and external stakeholders.
  • The organisation shall prepare and implement an action plan for all those topics that are deemed material.
  • The organisation shall establish objectives for those issues included in the action plan.
  • The organisation shall determine and provide the resources needed for the implementation and maintenance of the management system.

DO

  • The organisation shall implement processes to meet the requirements of the CERA Performance Standard, the organisation's action plan, and potential emergency situations or grievance situations.

CHECK

  • The organisation shall monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate its compliance with the criteria of the CERA Performance Standard.
  • The organisation shall communicate relevant performance information both internally and externally in an appropriate manner.

ACT

  • The organisation, based on its compliance evaluation, shall determine opportunities for improvement or corrective actions to improve performance and/or eliminate non-compliances with the CERA Performance Standard.
  • The organisation shall review the implemented corrective actions and track their results.  

SECTION 2

Social Responsibility

2.1 Human and community rights

A sustainable organisation shall take into account both the direct and the indirect effects of its business activities. In relation to human rights, a broad assessment of the potential negative and/or positive effects is required. The organisation shall aim to reduce its negative human rights impact, promoting positive effects and obtaining local community support.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed regional and international conventions on human rights.
  • The organisation shall assess risks related to human rights, based on its business activities.
  • The organisation shall monitor effects relating to human rights, both positive and negative.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating negative risks related to human rights while promoting measures to generate positive effects.
  • The assessment of risks and management strategy shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop and implement a policy regarding human rights and community development.
  • The organisation shall implement a human rights due diligence process to identify and address its effects, addressing the following as a minimum:
    • Workplace diversity/discrimination/equal opportunity
    • Indigenous people's rights
    • Particularly vulnerable persons, e.g. women, children and persons with disabilities
    • Local community protection and development
    • Cultural heritage protection
    • Supplier assessment regarding human rights
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators.
  • The organisation shall seek to continually improve those key performance indicators.

2.2 Labour conditions

Sustainable organisations shall commit to and provide fair/reasonable labour conditions for their workers. This section addresses various rules and requirements, which provide a foundation for an organisation to implement fair labour conditions and empower its workforce.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed all national labour regulations and ILO conventions.
  • The organisation shall monitor effects relating to labour conditions.
  • The organisation shall assess risks within the organisation itself and within its supply chain in respect of non-compliance.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating risks relating to non-compliance. The assessment of effects, risks, and the related management strategy, shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop and implement a policy regarding appropriate labour conditions.
  • The organisation shall implement a labour conditions due diligence process to identify and address its impact, addressing the following as a minimum:
    • Freedom of association
    • Remuneration
    • Working hours
    • Rights to collective bargaining
    • Child labour
    • Forced labour
    • Non-discrimination
    • Training and education
    • Supplier assessment
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators.
  • The organisation shall seek to continually improve those key performance indicators.

2.3 Occupational health and safety

Effects relating to occupational health and safety (OHS) present a large risk both to the well-being of employees and for the economic success and reputation of an organisation. This section sets out the rules and requirements for OHS in order to address all material risks, thus maintaining a functional working environment and promoting workplace safety.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed all national requirements related to occupational health and safety.
  • The organisation shall monitor effects related to OHS. The organisation shall assess risks within the organisation itself and its supply chain in respect of non-compliance.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating risks relating to non-compliance. The assessment of effects, risks, and the related management strategy shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop and implement a policy regarding appropriate health and safety conditions as well as security.
  • The organisation shall implement an OHS due diligence process to identify and address its impact,  addressing the following as a minimum:
    • Workplace risk assessment
    • Training and education
    • Supplier assessment & training
    • Protection measures
    • Measures to ensure workplace security
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators.
  • The organisation shall seek to continually improve those key performance indicators.

2.4 Safety & Security

Besides occupational health and safety, every sustainable organisation shall seek to implement safety and security measures in- and outside its direct boundaries to prevent negative impacts on community and individual safety as a result of the operation’s activities. This section sets out the rules and requirements for Safety & Security in order to address all material risks, thus promoting the acceptance of the operation and long-term safety within the community.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed all national requirements related to safety and security.
  • The organisation shall monitor effects related to safety and security.
  • The organisation shall assess risks within the organisation itself and its supply chain.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating risks.
  • The assessment of effects, risks, and the related management strategy shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop and implement a policy regarding appropriate safety and security conditions.
  • The organisation shall implement, with its stakeholders, a safety and security due diligence process to identify and address its potential risks, addressing the following as a minimum:
    • Access to operations
    • Operational accidents and related impacts
    • Maintenance of structural elements
    • Use and emission of hazardous substances
    • Training and education of personnel
    • Training and education of local communities
  • The organisation shall disclose, in appropriate manner, the identified risks and respective measures to local communities.
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators. The organisation shall seek to continually improve those key performance indicators.

SECTION 3

Environmental Responsibility

3.1 Emissions and waste

Most business activities lead to the production of waste, wastewater and/or emissions in order to provide goods or services. Sustainable production includes an organisation's awareness and monitoring of its downstream environmental impact, such as waste and air emissions. This section sets out the rules and requirements for Emissions and Waste management, creating a cost-efficient, emissions-reducing production process.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed all national environmental laws and regulations.
  • The organisation shall monitor its environmental impact.
  • The organisation shall assess and document its environmental risks.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating the identified environmental risks.
  • The assessment of risks and management strategy shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop an environmental policy.
  • The organisation shall implement an environmental due diligence process to identify and address the negative downstream environmental impact, as a minimum addressing:
    • Air quality assessment and management
    • Waste and water assessment and management
    • Noise and vibration assessment and management
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators.
  • The organisation shall seek to continually improve those key performance indicators.

3.2 Resource and energy use

Sustainable resource management not only enables the reduction of significant negative environmental impact, but also provides financial gains for organisations by reducing purchasing and disposal expenses. Sustainable resource management should thus be a top priority for every organisation. This section sets out the rules and requirements for sustainable resource and energy use, enabling cost savings while reducing environmental impacts.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed all national laws and regulations regarding land and resource use (including recycling).
  • The organisation shall monitor its resource, energy and land use.
  • The organisation shall assess and document risks associated with resource, energy and land use.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating the identified risks.
  • The assessment of risks and management strategy shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop an environmental policy regarding resource, energy and land use use.
  • The organisation shall implement an environmental due diligence process to identify and address the negative upstream environmental impact, as a minimum addressing:
    • Resource use by type of resource (primary raw materials, associated process materials, semi-manufactured goods, packaging),
    • Water use by withdrawal source, water recycled and reused
    • Water management: management to avoid negative impact on water
    • Energy use
    • Land use change
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators.
  • The organisation shall seek to continually improve key performance indicators.

3.3 Biodiversity

An organisation's business activities may negatively affect an ecosystem's ability to function properly. As a sustainable organisation, those effects on biodiversity should be assessed and minimised to prevent further biodiversity loss. This section sets out the rules and requirements for Biodiversity management, reducing impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Rules

  • The organisation shall comply with or exceed all national environmental laws and regulations.
  • The organisation shall monitor its impact on ecosystems.
  • The organisation shall assess and document its risks relating to ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • The organisation shall develop a strong management strategy for managing and mitigating the identified biodiversity risks.
  • The assessment of risks and management strategy shall be updated regularly.

Requirements

  • The organisation shall develop an environmental policy regarding the preservation of biodiversity.
  • The organisation shall implement a due diligence process to identify and address the negative biodiversity impact, as a minimum addressing:
    • Screening of new and existing sites, identifying boundaries of legally protected areas, boundaries of key biodiversity areas
    • Assessment of the impact on sites identified as within or close to legally protected or key biodiversity areas
    • Identification, planning and monitoring of mitigation and/or compensation measures
  • The organisation shall develop key performance indicators.
  • The organisation shall seek to continually improve those key performance indicators.