Tracemet – Traceability for sustainable metals and minerals

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IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Erik Lindblom

This strategic project follows the successful project Traceability – for sustainable metals and minerals which was completed in May 2019.

Tracemet will develop a pilot system to certify the origin of metals and minerals, the carbon footprint and the percentage of recycled materials – and make it traceable throughout the value chain. The system should be reliable, functional and distributed so that it can be used by various actors in the value chain. Such a system can drive the development towards a more sustainable metal production globally, by giving responsible producers a competitive advantage and improving the conditions and incentives for recycling metals and minerals. The TraceMet concept will be developed and evaluated for both steel and copper flows – two independent value chains. It will highlight opportunities and challenges for developing, implementing and using this type of traceable certification systems. By spreading the results even outside the Swedish mining industry, interest and demand for this type of system solutions is expected to increase. This can lead to a positive spiral that, in the long run, will benefit responsible producers and thus contribute to more sustainable development.

Press release: 2019-12-09

Now it becomes possible to follow the origin of the metal

That the need for metal and minerals increases with new technology is clear, and that it drives raw material production in countries that lack both environmental and work environment protection. Demand for sustainably produced metal and minerals is increasing and the origin of metals in products plays an increasingly important role for both consumer and producer. Being able to clearly and transparently track parts of a product is driven by an increased awareness of the climate impact and is a prerequisite for achieving the global sustainability goals. The new project TraceMet, funded by SIP STRIM, aims to give knowledge about the origin of metals.

– For SIP STRIM, metal and mineral traceability is one of the most important issues, and traceability is a prerequisite for the proportion of sustainably produced metals to increase globally. During the autumn, many meetings and debates with among others Minister of Enterprise and Energy Ibrahim Baylan at the forefront have shown that we are on the right path and that sustainably produced metals and minerals are high on Sweden’s priority list, says Jenny Greberg, program director for SIP STRIM.

The purpose of TraceMet is to develop a simplified system for tracking certified metals from mine to end use. The project will use the criteria “carbon dioxide imprint” and “proportion of recycled”, and the project will include both a value chain for copper, from mine to use in high voltage lines, and a value chain for steel, from mine to steel in trucks.

– It is important to have a working traceability system in place as soon as possible. Svemin’s pre-study from spring 2019, which also was funded by SIP STRIM, showed that it can be done this way, that blockchains are a way forward. We would like to see that Svemin develop this further, says Jenny Greberg.

Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO of Svemin, says that there are currently several projects in parallel in the world in certification and traceability of metals and minerals, and believes that it is positive.
– It shows the tremendous pressure to come forward on this issue, we help each other to show on the importance. But this project is, as far as we know, the only project that involves players in the entire value chain, says Maria Sunér Fleming.

The project initiated by Svemin and SIP STRIM will be led by IVL, the Swedish Environmental Institute. Erik Lindblom is project manager and he sees great potential in the project.
– The goal of the project is to develop a system and a technical solution that enables a certified declaration of origin. The idea is that through the entire value chain one should be able to see both the carbon dioxide imprint for the metal and how much recycled material it contains, says Erik Lindblom, IVL.

The project has several strategic partners in the mining industry, including LKAB and Boliden. But also key players such as Volvo Group, Scania, Elektrokoppar and SSAB. The project will last for a little over a year.

Read more

Project: Traceability – for sustainable metals and minerals

Project website at IVL (in swedish)