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CERA - Certification of Raw Materials

CERA (CErtification of RAw Materials) is a four-year project that will develop a standardized certification scheme ensuring environmental, social and economic sustainability in extraction, processing, trading and manufacturing of all mineral raw materials. It will guarantee traceability of certified materials by using a combination of traceability technologies, including proof of origin methods throughout the entire value chain.

2017 - 2021
Susan van den Brink

DMT GmbH & Co. KG
TÜV Nord Cert
LTU Business
Montanuniversitaet Leoeben

Short abstract

CERA is seeking to develop a certification scheme for the EU covering mining, processing and trade processes on a global scale and not focusing on a specific mineral resource. Especially the customer’s trust in the product is of high interest of this innovation work. The ultimate objective of this innovation work is to establish a label on mineral, which is planned to be extended on a global scale in the long run. To do this, CERA will feature a set of four standards, including a Readiness Standard, Performance Standard,  Chain of Custody Standard and Final Product Standard. Each of these standards tackles a different part of the value chain, providing different means to foster sustainable production and/or informed decision-making by customers.

Project description

In contrast to other sectors such as the forestry, food or textile sector, in which a comprehensive certification scheme for production and transport is already established an all-encompassing standard for the certification of mineral resources does not yet exist. The aim of the CERA project is to establish a label for mineral resources. Potential customers of the certificates are producers of mineral resources, the consumer goods industry as well as interest groups or initiatives all of which have different needs/interests in certificates for mineral resources.

The underlying method for the development of a comprehensive and unified certification program and label on mineral resources to EIT Raw Materials is based on the distinctive expertise and long-term experience of the consortium partners. The project started off with a feasibility study and systematization, characterization and clustering of raw materials into categories. This will be followed by the development of certification schemes per category, an analysis of technical tools for certification and an analysis of how to ensure the Chain of Custody. This will be followed by a standardization, finalization, conclusion and evaluation. Finally, a dissemination and market entry strategy will be developed.

The Department of Industrial Ecology of the Institute of Environmental Science conducts fundamental and policy-oriented research in the area of the use and management of natural resources and the impacts of resources use and the environment. This will support the development of the standard(s) and its requirements. Additionally, Universiteit Leiden is operating a network consisting of highly regarded members of the consumer goods industry.

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