The International Copper Association (ICA) announced its creation of the “Copper Mark,” a global standard to ensure responsible production and trading of copper. Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the mark is to be launched this year.

GlobalData’s Mining Technology writer Scarlett Evans, said, “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.

Michèle Bruelhart, executive director of the Copper Mark, told GlobalData: “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. Businesses are expected to look beyond shareholder profit, and to make purpose and responsibility key parts of their mission and operations. The market demand for responsible sourcing and production will, furthermore, only increase over the next decade. The Copper Mark uses an existing tool, the Risk Readiness Assessment, to address 32 issue areas across environmental, social and governance 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.”

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.

Evans concluded, “Favoured for its unparalleled thermal and electrical conductivity, in addition to 100 per cent recyclability, copper is anticipated to play an integral role in the creation of renewable energy infrastructure. 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. For the ICA, its Copper Mark is a step in the right direction.”

*Article published in the April-June 2020 issue of The Asia Miner