Chain of Custody, Traceability and Labelling Options

Full supply chain traceability is easy to understand, and easy to ask for. It is the right solution in some situations. But it is not the only option for sustainability standards schemes. ‘Mass Balance’, ‘Percentage-Based Claims’ and ‘Book and Claim’ approaches should also be considered. It can be a costly mistake to commit to an approach requiring full traceability in all circumstances.

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) wanted to understand the implications for its mission of the supply chain for mined materials, which may be as varied as gold, diamonds, steel, glass, mica, phosphates, aluminium, tin, lead, cadmium, copper, and whose end uses range from jewelry to construction, from electronics to infrastructure, and from cars to cosmetics.

IRMA commissioned OneWorldStandards to review the sector, taking account of the diversity and complexity of the supply chain, and the existence of other standards schemes and programmes, and to propose a strategic approach which would contribute most effectively to the achievement of IRMA’s vision of responsible mining.

Based on OneWorldStandard’s work, including consultation with key stakeholders, IRMA has defined a strategy that lets it engage effectively across the whole sector, providing key services where required but working with other schemes and programmes to create collaborative solutions where this looks more likely to achieve success.

“We have relied on the expertise of OneWorldStandards for more than five years. Not only does OneWorldStandards provide timely, smart, in-depth services that have helped us to build a needed certification program that forwards more responsible mining; it has saved our project real time and money. Matthew’s extensive and direct experience with numerous other global certification programs in other sectors has offered us the opportunity to learn from the lessons of others’ path and avoids reinventing the wheel. We thoroughly enjoy his wit and wisdom and frank sharing of opinion — it makes us, and our program, smarter!” – Aimee Boulanger, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)

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