RMI and the Copper Mark Publish Criteria for Responsible Minerals and Metals

ALEXANDRIA and CHELTENHAM, October 19, 2023 – The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) and The Copper Mark today announced the launch of the RMI’s Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA) and the RMI’s and Copper Mark’s joint Criteria Guide, version 3.0. The RRA Criteria and Criteria Guide are publicly available to all interested stakeholders.

The RRA is a set of mineral-agnostic criteria for responsible production, sourcing, processing and recycling of minerals and metals. Version 3.0 of the RRA consists of 33 criteria covering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks, and it defines due diligence requirements and responsible production, sourcing, processing and recycling practices for minerals and metals against which users can assess their performance.

The RRA was created by the RMI in 2017, has been completed by more than 600 mines, smelters, refiners, manufacturers and recyclers, across a broad range of metals, and has provided visibility for hundreds of downstream companies relying on RRA users’ voluntary disclosure of self-assessment results. Following the release of RRA version 3.0, the RMI will align its ESG Standard to the RRA. Currently, the ESG assessment scope is at the facility level, and it will now be expanded to include supply chain risks. The RRA version 3.0 will be effective starting January 1, 2024, for companies interested in completing the RMI’s updated RRA self-assessment offline, and available through the RBA-Online tool from April 1, 2024.

The RRA Criteria Guide is also used by The Copper Mark to define the requirements its participants have to meet to receive the Copper Mark, Nickel Mark, Zinc Mark or Molybdenum Mark. To date, over 80 sites participate in the Copper Mark Assurance Process, thereby undergoing an independent third-party assessment of their practices at site-level against the RRA Criteria Guide. Starting January 1, 2024, The Copper Mark will require all its new participants to be assessed against the requirements of the RRA Criteria Guide, version 3.0. Current participants that are due for assessment in 2024 will be able to choose between versions 2.0 and 3.0 of the RRA Criteria Guide and, from 2025 onward, all Copper Mark participants will be required to implement version 3.0.

With the revision, the RMI and The Copper Mark aim to define industry-specific ESG practices grounded in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and in the OECD 6-step due diligence framework, as well as aligning with the most recent developments in regulations and industry best practices. They require companies to identify, assess, prevent and mitigate risks and adverse impacts associated with company operations and supply chains. By building on those international frameworks, the RRA supports regulatory preparedness in many jurisdictions.

Version 3.0 of the RRA also recognizes ongoing industry efforts that can be demonstrated via credible standards and globally established protocols and methodologies.

“Version 3.0 of the Risk Readiness Assessment marks an important milestone in the expansion of the RMI’s suite of tools to support robust ESG due diligence,” said Jennifer Peyser, Executive Director of the RMI. “Multi-stakeholder consultations have made version 3.0 a strong foundation upon which to build the RMI’s company self-assessment tool and an updated ESG Standard to meet international norms and shared expectations of upstream and downstream companies and stakeholders, and to support emerging regulatory requirements.”

“Continuous improvement is one of The Copper Mark’s key principles and version 3.0 of the Risk Readiness Assessment represents this principle by raising the bar on what it means to be a responsible producer,” said Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of The Copper Mark. “Based on a rigorous two-year revision process including extensive stakeholder consultation, we are excited to launch these updated requirements and work with our participants to implement these onsite.”

Version 3.0 of the RRA is the outcome of a multi-stakeholder consultation and decision-making process that draws on the recommendations of the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for standard setting. More than 35 civil society and international organizations, numerous metal associations, industry experts and company representatives were engaged in the revision process, either as members of a dedicated technical committee, or in individual dialogue and public consultations. The RMI will continue to promote the uptake of ESG due diligence in the industry, and foster dialogue between upstream and downstream supply chain actors around responsible mineral production practices.

Stakeholders can view and download the RRA and Criteria Guide here on the RMI website and here on The Copper Mark website.

For more information, contact the RMI at rmi@responsiblebusiness.org or the Copper Mark at info@coppermark.org.

About the Responsible Minerals Initiative

The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) is an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The RMI is a multi-industry initiative with nearly 500 member companies. Its members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources focused on minerals supply chain due diligence, including independent third-party audit programs for smelters, Minerals Reporting Templates, supply chain risk assessment tools, Country of Origin data, and guidance documents on responsible sourcing of all minerals/metals. The RMI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit ResponsibleMineralsInitiative.org

About The Copper Mark

The Copper Mark is an assurance framework to promote responsible practices and demonstrate the copper industry’s contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Copper Mark uses a rigorous site-level assessment process to independently verify whether individual copper producing sites have responsible production practices. The Copper Mark is built on a genuine commitment to responsible production as we aim to mitigate the environmental and social impact of the copper industry, and positively contribute to sustainable development goals and the green transition. For more information, visit coppermark.org

Media Contacts:

Jarrett Bens, Senior Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721

Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director

The Copper Mark

Phone: +4178235005