US copper major Freeport-McMoRan has announced its commitment to the Copper Mark - an assurance framework that demonstrates the industry’s responsible production practices and contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
It is the first and only framework developed specifically for the copper industry and enables each site to demonstrate to customers, investors and other stakeholders their responsible production performance.
Freeport-McMoRan has started the process for six of its operating sites and has future plans to validate all its operating sites against the Copper Mark requirements.
Last month, Rio Tinto’s Kennecott copper operation, in Utah, became the first to be awarded the Copper Mark.
“Our focus on responsible production is critical to establish and maintain acceptance from our stakeholders. The Copper Mark demonstrates our responsible production practices to downstream markets, helping to meet our customers’ responsible sourcing objectives,” said Freeport-McMoRan president and CEO Richard Adkerson.
Copper plays an essential role in the technologies necessary to develop and deliver clean energy and to support the global transition to a low-carbon economy. As the energy transition continues, copper use is expected to increase from the use of electric vehicles and their charging stations and renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, and their necessary connections to grids.
“As one of the world's largest copper producers, we understand we play a critical role in this transition, and we remain dedicated to supplying the global economy with responsibly produced copper,” said Adkerson.
To receive the Copper Mark, copper producers must be assessed independently against a comprehensive set of environmental, social and governance criteria on a site-by-site basis.
The framework currently is focused on copper producers at the beginning of the supply chain, but it intends to develop criteria for fabricators and component producers in the coming years with the goal of establishing a chain of custody for downstream companies, such as automobile and electronics producers.
The Copper Mark was originally founded and developed by the International Copper Association, to which Freeport-McMoRan is a member, in conjunction with various stakeholders.