The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), on behalf of its Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), and the International Copper Association, Ltd. (ICA), have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly advance the responsible production and trade of copper.
The RMI and ICA aim to harmonize expectations for responsible practices in the copper value chain by applying existing industry norms covering major environmental, social and governance issues.
“We believe this collaboration between the RMI and ICA will broaden and deepen the positive impact of both organizations’ work to improve conditions along the copper value chain,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the Responsible Business Alliance. “Companies are seeking ways to ensure their products are developed responsibly throughout their global supply chains and this collaboration is another step in offering that assurance.”
In April 2019, ICA introduced a new assurance program for responsible copper production, the Copper Mark, offering a voluntary program to support the copper industry’s contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production. The Copper Mark will be available to copper mines, smelters and refiners in its first application and is expected to launch in 2020.
While key elements of the Copper Mark, including the independent third-party verification process, are still under development, ICA will use the RMI’s Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA) for implementation. The industry norms described in the RRA will define the requirements copper mines and smelters/refiners must meet in order to obtain the Copper Mark.
To avoid duplication of efforts, the RMI and ICA will share information related to ongoing standards benchmarking efforts as well as improvements to other resources, including the RMI’s RRA and its Country Risk Assessment Portal.
“ICA looks forward to working with the RMI team to leverage our respective strengths to the benefit of the copper industry and its key stakeholders,” said Anthony Lea, President of the International Copper Association. “We believe this partnership will act as a catalyst for responsible growth and greater opportunity for responsible copper production.”
In addition, ICA will join and actively participate in the RMI’s Mining Engagement Team, which brings together upstream and downstream companies for greater collaboration.
About the Responsible Minerals Initiative
The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) is an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The RMI is a multi-industry initiative with more than 380 member companies. Its members contribute to the development and international uptake of a range of tools and resources focused on minerals supply chain due diligence, including independent third-party audit programs for smelters, Minerals Reporting Templates, supply chain risk assessment tools, Country of Origin data, and guidance documents on responsible sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, and cobalt. The RMI runs regular workshops on responsible sourcing issues and contributes to policy development with civil society organizations and governments. For more information, visit
About the International Copper Association (ICA)
The International Copper Association’s members represent a majority of global copper production and include some of the world’s largest manufacturers of copper semi-end-use products. ICA brings together the global copper industry to develop and defend markets for copper and to make a positive contribution to society’s sustainable-development goals. ICA’s status as a not-for-profit trade association provides its members with a credible, independent advocate to address challenges faced by the collective industry. ICA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with its Copper Alliance® partners, is active in more than 60 countries worldwide. For additional information please visit copperalliance.org.