Case StudyThe Copper Mark Assurance System

A comprehensive industry-wide and internationally-recognised assurance system for the responsible production of copper that demonstrates the copper industry’s contribution to sustainable development.

Business challenge

The International Copper Association (ICA) commissioned TDI Sustainability to build an end-to-end standards system for copper production. We were asked to include practice requirements, the assurance programme, industry and stakeholder engagement, and outreach, guidance and governance initiatives.

Approach and deliverable

To fulfil the goals of the ICA’s proposed assurance system, TDI Sustainability’s role took three distinct parts.

1. Preparatory research and reporting:

  • Articulation of the requirements and indicators for the system’s core content.
  • Options for the verification and validation of ICA members’ practices.
  • Stakeholder interviews on aspects of the draft system and its requirements.
  • Evaluation of the benefits and potential costs of the system for its members.
  • Recommendations for the mitigation of any downside risk.

2. Development of system components:

We also gave the system a meaningful and recognisable name – the Copper Mark.

  • Assurance process documents including procedures for conducting desktop and site assessments, and criteria for selecting and approving assessors.
  • A grievance mechanism policy.
  • The Copper Mark requirements guidance.
  • A Copper Mark OECD-aligned due diligence tool.
  • Country risk profiles and a country conflict and high-risk area (CAHRA) identification tool.
  • A Copper Mark claims guide.

3. Associated and ancillary activities:

  • Establishing a Copper Mark advisory committee.
  • Supporting the build of the Copper Mark website and members portal, including automation of the OECD-aligned due diligence and CAHRA determination tools.
  • Establishing the UK-incorporated company to house the Copper Mark organisation.
  • Building a theory of change for the initiative.

Client benefits and broader industry impact

The Copper Mark assurance system aims to meet the demand for greater accountability of corporate environmental, social and governance practices and demonstrates the positive contributions its members make to sustainable development in the copper production industry.

Project partners and methodology

The initial process involved convening stakeholders, including representatives from businesses in the copper industry, to complete an exploratory analysis to assess the efficacy and viability of launching a branded copper assurance system.

TDI Sustainability continue to work with and support The Copper Mark through developing trainings for auditors and copper producers.

Approved Assessors

If you are looking for an approved Copper Mark auditor, or need support preparing for a Copper Mark audit, TDI Sustainability is ready to help. Our expert, multilingual team are completely up to speed with the responsible operating practices required relating to employees, local communities, governance and the environment.