Case StudyThe Bettercoal Assurance System

A robust and efficient assurance system focused on continuous improvement in order to foster a responsible coal supply chain.

Business challenge

Established by a group of major coal buyers, Bettercoal aims to advance sustainability performance in the global coal supply chain through the Bettercoal Assurance System.

TDI Sustainability was tasked to support Bettercoal with introducing modifications to their Assurance System by providing expert input on its governance, structure, and technical content.

Approach and deliverable

TDI staff have worked with Bettercoal from its inception when the initiative was created and has first-hand experience and knowledge of applying the Bettercoal Code. TDI support for Bettercoal covers:

  • TDI has worked with Bettercoal with the redesign of the assurance mechanism for the Bettercoal Code, including assessment protocols and tools, auditor training materials, and reporting documents.
  • TDI staff have been active members of the Bettercoal Technical and Advisory Committee (TAC) for many years and have advised Bettercoal on establishing and developing its system.
  • TDI has worked with Bettercoal on the modifications to their current Code, including extensive stakeholder engagement and wording revisions.

Project partners and methodology

TDI staff are approved Lead Assessors to conduct coal mine assessments and continuous monitoring of Bettercoal Suppliers based on Bettercoal Code and international standards such as IFC Performance Standards, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. TDI staff has conducted Bettercoal assessments in Russia, Poland, the USA, Colombia and Kazakhstan.

TDI Sustainability is currently working with Bettercoal on projects to further review and enhance its assurance system and its Code.

Hear from our Partners


Anne-Claire Howard, Executive Director

TDI Sustainability has shown it can deliver this quality in different geographic settings from Kazakhstan to Colombia, and from rural England to Russia. They show a deep understanding of the Bettercoal Code, not only in the written expression of the standard, but also the intent behind the code to assure customers that coal mines can be free of conflict, safe working places, and catalysts for positive change in local economies. Few firms show the depth of knowledge and sophistication in evaluation than TDI Sustainability.