The world’s largest copper miner, Chile’s Codelco, has announced that all of its operations will participate in The Copper Mark responsible production assurance framework, the first and only global system developed in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that copper production is carried out responsibly. “The first division that will participate in this initiative will be El Teniente and we project that by the end of 2023, 100% of our operations will have participated in this international program, which represents an external and independent validation of our route towards less impactful processes,” reported the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability of Codelco, Renato Fernández.
A year ago, the main state-owned company in the country announced its 2030 sustainable development commitments, among which were reduction of 70% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the reduction of its consumption of continental waters by 65%. In addition, in October 2021, it expanded its goals by announcing that it would achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. “Since 2020, within the framework of the current transformation of Codelco, we have traced 100% of our production according to standards that are comparable to the criteria required by the international assurance system, The Copper Mark, so we hope that the processes to obtain certification will be fluid,” highlighted Fernández.
To achieve The Copper Mark, each Codelco division must confirm full compliance with 32 sustainability criteria, including aspects of governance, transparency and business ethics, compliance and legality, and issues associated with human rights, labour rights, discrimination and gender, climate change, waste treatment and risk management, amongst others.
Launched in March 2020, The Copper Mark is the first and only system that specifies a focus on the responsible production of copper, in order to ensure a positive delivery of value to the territories and communities where the mineral is extracted and produced, as well as as workers, investors and customers. This voluntary international initiative allows these companies to differentiate themselves by confirming that copper production is obtained through processes that meet high sustainability standards.