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Certificate for a Better Future: TUV NORD CERT Launches ESG Certification Concept for the Raw Materials Sector

Feb 09, 2024 12:46 IST 
New Delhi, Delhi, India

A major milestone in the raw materials sector towards traceability, transparency and sustainability has been reached with the launch of TUV NORD CERA 4in1. The first holistic, globally applicable, four-step certification concept for mineral raw materials along the entire value chain up to the final product by TUV NORD CERT, a subsidiary of TUV NORD GROUP. This certification concept is a necessary step towards a truly sustainable transformation in the natural resources sector. As of today, the TUV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) is the first completed standard of CERA 4in1 available in the market. The CPS supports production facilities in the areas of mining, processing, smelting, and refining in meeting the requirements of ESG principles, environmental and social responsibility as well as corporate governance – the key factors for a sustainable future.


Establishing a holistic certification concept in the raw materials sector capable of managing its highly complex certificate landscape, is a pivotal milestone. Especially, since raw materials have an essential role in addressing the challenges of our time, such as the sustainable transformation of our society, digitalization, the transition to renewable energy and transportation. The raw materials sector is challenged with an increasing number of tasks and legal regulations that are being implemented in Europe and around the globe to achieve transparency and sustainability. But these challenges also provide new opportunities that will change the raw materials sector worldwide. The EU-funded TUV NORD CERA 4in1 certification system, with its four integrated standards, is perfectly equipped to help accomplish these tasks and fulfill the expectations of all stakeholders, including investors, shareholders, clients, business partners, governments, employees, and society itself. As this certification system enables end consumers and businesses to make sustainable purchasing decisions.


What is CERA 4in1?

CERA 4in1 is the first and (so far) only certification concept that provides proof of ESG-compliance along the entire value chain: from exploration through extraction and processing up to the final products. The four-step solution with its integrated standards, the Readiness Standard (CRS), the Performance Standard (CPS), the Chain of Custody Standard (CCS), and the Final Product Standard (CFS) has one big advantage: It targets all kind of minerals, everywhere in the world and is applicable to any size of company.


Sandra Gerhartz, Managing Director, TUV NORD CERT, explains the current market situation, “Sustainability certifications in the raw materials sector are extremely complex and often vary significantly. To enable transparency all the way to the end user, we need a smart and streamlined certification process to reliably measure ESG compliance and certify accordingly. CERA 4in1 is the first worldwide certification concept that covers all minerals along the entire value chain up to the final product.”


Considering the shortcomings of existing certificates covering only parts of the value chain or certain raw materials and thus creating a confusing, complex and fragmented market situation, the universal approach of CERA 4in1 simplifies the certification process, reduces complexity and brings transparency and reliability to the raw materials sector. Today’s launch of the CPS is just the beginning of a transition in the raw materials sector in order to create more secure supply chains for the future.


India's Mining Industry: Balancing Growth Challenges, Sustainability Needs, and Global Competitiveness

India's mining industry, a vital contributor to economic growth and employment, faces challenges in attracting investments and addressing environmental and social concerns, including child labor, land degradation, and water pollution, among others. Despite its global standing in iron ore and coal production, the sector aims to surmount historical challenges through initiatives such as the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The government's goal is to elevate the industry's GDP contribution from 1.75% to 2.5% by implementing reforms and doubling mineral production over the next seven years. Moreover, the industry's low foreign direct investment (FDI) in this sector underscores the need for transparent and internationally competitive policies to attract more investments.


To address challenges and foster sustainable practices, certifications like TUV NORD CERA 4in1 will play a pivotal role. By incorporating environmental, social, and governance principles, CERA 4in1 ensures sustainable practices throughout the entire value chain up to the final product. This holistic approach not only tackles internal challenges but also enhances the global competitiveness of Indian mining operations. Certified operations signal a commitment to responsible practices, positioning them to access international markets that prioritize ethically sourced and environmentally conscious minerals. Adhering to international sustainability standards, Indian mining operations certified by CERA 4in1 will contribute to global sustainability goals, playing a crucial role in meeting the increasing demand for minerals while simultaneously elevating India's stature in the international marketplace as a responsible and competitive player in the global mineral market.


What are the benefits of CPS?

The TUV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard is the first achieved milestone towards transparency in the raw materials sector. It enables companies of all sizes in the areas of mining, processing, smelting and refining to certify the ESG-compliance of their facilities (e.g. mine sites) or sequence of operations (e.g. mine site and processing plant). The well-structured step-by-step approach prevents an overburdening in the process while still fulfilling all ESG requirements.


“CPS will enable mining companies of all sizes to receive a clear route to meeting the sustainability requirements of international markets. Being certified according to CPS contributes to the long-term profitability and competitiveness of the company in the raw materials sector, making it a trustworthy business partner, who demonstrates responsibility,” confirms Dr. Andreas Hucke, TIC-Manager CERA 4in1, TUV NORD CERT.


The impact of the CPS has already been tested in practice. A major German car manufacturer has already carried out a comprehensive sustainability audit in accordance with the first standard, the CERA 4in1 Performance Standard in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as a pilot project finalized in 2023 in its collaboration with a cobalt mining company. In another pilot, the mutual recognition of a national ESG standard with the international CERA 4in1 standards was successfully trialled as part of a pilot project with the Spanish holding company ICL Iberia. This means that national producers can also use CERA 4in1 to fulfil international sustainability requirements and expand their markets. 


CPS is the first step to support the raw materials sector on its path to a sustainable future. CPS and CERA 4in1, which will be fully available by 2026, have the potential to shape a better future for us all by enhancing transparency, building trust, contributing to environmental and social goals, and thus helping to establish responsible business practices.

For more detailed information, please see the attached factsheet and visit:

TUV NORD CERA 4in1 – Certification of Mineral Raw Materials

TUV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) - ESG certification for mining, smelting, and refining



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