Frequently Asked Questions
Copper Mark Frequently Asked Questions
The Copper Mark is the first and only assurance framework for copper, created to demonstrate responsible production practices and the industry’s contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. Copper has a critical role to play in the green transition as a vital material in clean energy technologies. The Copper Mark looks to ensure that copper used in that transition is responsibly produced.
The Copper Mark has a unique role to play in bringing the sector together and ensuring sustainable production standards are implemented across the industry. The Copper Mark provides an opportunity for the industry to engage with stakeholders along the value chain, across sectors and from civil society to understand and meet increasing demands for independently verified, responsible production practices.
The Copper Mark was founded and developed by the International Copper Association. In December 2019, the Copper Mark started its transition to become a more multi-stakeholder organization.
The Copper Mark has been incorporated as an independent organization in December 2019 and is governed by its Board of Directors and multi-stakeholder Advisory Council. As part of the transition, the Copper Mark will continue to increase the representation of non-copper industry stakeholders in its governance structure.
The current members of the Copper Mark Board Directors and Advisory Council are listed here.
Participating copper producer sites are assessed against 32 responsible production criteria. The criteria are defined by the Risk Readiness Assessment created and owned by the Responsible Minerals Initiative. The Risk Readiness Assessment covers the core expectations for responsible production across all major environmental, social and governance issue areas. Once the participating site is able to demonstrate, through an independent third-party assessment, that they fully or partially meet all 32 criteria, the Copper Mark is awarded. For any areas that are partially met, the site has to implement an improvement plan within 12 months of the assessment.
Copper producers that participate in the Copper Mark will be able to automatically meet all three of LME’s Responsible Sourcing Requirements for responsible sourcing, environmental as well as occupational health and safety management systems.
The Copper Mark uses the Risk Readiness Assessment of the Responsible Minerals Initiative, which includes criteria 12 and 14 on occupational health and safety as well as environmental management system.
On responsible sourcing, The Copper Mark, the International Lead Association (ILA), the International Zinc Association (IZA), the Nickel Institute and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) are collaborating to develop a joint Standard to enable companies to comply with the London Metal Exchange (LME) Responsible Sourcing requirements. With this collaboration, partner organizations expect to significantly reduce administrative burdens, minimize costs and provide a mechanism for brands to meet LME requirements using a single framework. The joint Standard is expected to be available to LME brands by 2021.
Once approved by the LME, the Copper Mark can be used by companies to demonstrate compliance with the LME’s policy on responsible sourcing.
The copper industry benefits from having a framework that is specifically developed for the unique and specific challenges it faces. However, the Copper Mark takes a pragmatic approach to recognition and equivalence. If companies are already adhering to another internationally recognized standard, the Copper Mark uses its Recognition Process to determine the extent to which the Copper Producer may use this standard to reduce the need for the independent third-party assessment.
The Copper Mark Assurance Process requires that all applicable criteria are independently assessed at the site level.
Currently the Copper Mark Assurance Process is available to Copper Producers, defined as entities with an operating mining site and/or a facility with solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX/EW), smelting or refining operations that are located in one geographic area and are operated under one management system.
|To be eligible to make Copper Mark-related claims, producers must produce copper or copper products. Such entities might produce other metals as well as copper. Included in the copper supply chain are multi-metal producers that produce gold, nickel, lead, molybdenum and zinc, alongside copper.
By 2023, the Copper Mark will expand its Assurance Framework to include downstream entities, such as semi-fabricators or fabricators.
Organizations that are part of the copper value chain but are not copper producers may consider joining as Copper Mark Partners.
Copper plays a critical role in the transition to clean energy as it is used in batteries, solar power, wind power, clean mobility, and electronic grids.
The Copper Mark does not provide a low-carbon copper product. However, through the Risk Readiness Assessment Criteria, the Copper Mark assesses copper producers against a number of criteria related to climate risk. Among others, criteria 15: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and 16: Energy Consumption are directly relevant.
Currently the Copper Mark focuses on the responsible production of copper. By 2023, the Copper Mark will expand its Assurance Framework to include a chain of custody system so as to enable its participants to make claims about the copper product.