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.
IRMA verifies performance of individual mines. Our robust, independent audits include both desk review and onsite visits to every mine that applies for assessment. 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, verification of individual chapters of our Standard (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.
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“Microsoft Devices is committed to increasing the sustainability of our upstream supply chain. We believe that globally recognized standards, developed in consultation with different stakeholders, will help define the expectations that protect and treat people with equity and dignity. 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.
“We at the Sierra Club understand that mining by its very nature is destructive and hazardous. When mining is necessary to meet human needs it must be conducted in a manner that doesn't result in significant environmental destruction, exploitation of workers, or lead to human rights violations. 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. We call on banks and investors to consider how a mining operation could threaten the environment and human rights before lending.``
Michael BruneExecutive Director, Sierra Club