Companies such as those in jewelry, electronics, building and autos want assurance that the minerals they buy are mined responsibly. Civil society organizations and communities expect adherence to a standards system that is comprehensive, robust and accountable to all affected stakeholders.
IRMA seeks to drive positive change in industrial-scale mining using credible third-party certification: a tool that has been proven to deliver better social and environmental outcomes in industries such as agriculture, forestry and fishing. IRMA offers the only third-party certification of industrial-scale mine sites for all mined materials that is governed equitably by the private sector, local communities, civil society, and workers. It is the most comprehensive standard and is available now for mines all over the world.
Our long-standing collaboration with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance has given us the opportunity to partner and address important and challenging issues in the mining sector across the areas of ethics, labor, human rights, health and safety, and the environment.
Ephi Banaynal dela CruzSenior Director, Responsible Sourcing, Microsoft
More information about Microsoft’s implementation of the Microsoft Devices Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials policy, including its commitments, approach and progress, is available here.
What makes IRMA certification unique?
IRMA verifies performance of mine sites. Our robust, independent audits include desk review and on-site visits to every mine that applies for assessment, as well as stakeholder engagement in the verification in the verification process. Here are some important facts about our assurance program:
- It is the mine site, not the company, that gets certified.
- A mining company can choose to commit to putting a percentage of its mines into the program, or reach a verified performance level at all of its mines, and make claims about that commitment and achievement.
- We use a step-by-step approach, not a pass/fail certification system.
- Our Standard describes ‘best practice’ for mines globally but also encourages mines at any level to come in and be recognized for continuously improving (see levels below).
- We offer a self-assessment tool, third-party independent verification and public reporting on performance (called IRMA Transparency), and the IRMA 50, IRMA 75 and IRMA 100 Certified levels for further improved performance. In the 50, 75, 100 levels of achievement, we always ensure a set of critical requirements are covered. See more in the graphic below.
There needs to be a high bar, which is why all mines should follow the safeguards outlined in IRMA's Standard for Responsible Mining. We call on companies around the world to ensure the products they buy from mines meet these standards.
Michael BruneExecutive Director, Sierra Club
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Responsible Mining Map
The Responsible Mining Map is an interactive tool that allows diverse stakeholders involved in mining (ranging from affected communities to mining companies) to identify global progress in responsible mining.