Press Release

Aurubis Bulgaria receives Copper Mark distinction

Hamburg | Monday, April 26, 2021

  • First Aurubis site to be certified with the quality seal 
  • Additional smelter sites will follow
  • New quality seal for the copper sector verifies responsible copper production based on 32 internationally recognized sustainability criteria

The Bulgarian site is the first Aurubis primary smelter to successfully complete the Copper Mark certification process and now bears the quality seal. The certification verifies that Aurubis Bulgaria produces copper sustainably.   The Copper Mark fully aligns with our Sustainability Strategy,” said Roland Harings, Aurubis AG Chief Executive Officer.

As a result, in 2020 we made the decision to take part in this new industry standard. We’re pleased that Aurubis Bulgaria has now successfully completed the extensive auditing process. Our goal is for all Aurubis smelters to receive the Copper Mark, so our sites in Hamburg and Lünen will be the next to start the audit process.

The Copper Mark requires participants to fulfill 32 internationally recognized sustainability criteria, which are assessed independently of each other. These include environmental protection, occupational health and safety, compliance, and human rights, to name a few examples. The Copper Mark therefore looks at a company’s responsible business activities as a whole. 

“For us, the certification means making responsibility visible at multiple levels,” explained Tim Kurth, Plant Manager and Managing Director of Aurubis Bulgaria. “The Copper Mark confirms the strengths we already have on the one hand and supports us in improving in other areas with a continuous process on the other. This aligns outstandingly with the sustainability approach that Aurubis puts into practice. With the seal, we verify our aspiration of fulfilling an internationally recognized benchmark. We would like to lead by example and encourage other companies in the industry to join the Copper Mark as well.”

The multi-stage certification process took place within 12 months. The plant’s initial self-assessment regarding all of the criteria was followed by an external audit process carried out by an independent auditor. Aurubis Bulgaria’s existing certifications in accordance with ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety) made a contribution in this regard. 
“We congratulate Aurubis Bulgaria for their commitment to responsible copper production practices and their achievement of the Copper Mark,” said Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of the Copper Mark. “We look forward to continued cooperation with Aurubis AG and its other sites as active participants in the Copper Mark organization and assurance framework.”

The Copper Mark 

The Copper Mark is the new quality seal for sustainability in the copper sector. Since March 30, 2020, mines and smelters have been able to have their sustainability performance audited and verified by third parties on a voluntary basis. As of now, 17 companies have joined the Copper Mark. Aurubis Bulgaria is the fourth smelter to receive the seal. At a later stage, processors along the entire value chain will be included. The 32 sustainability criteria of the Risk Readiness Assessment of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) apply to the Copper Mark, which cover topics such as compliance, child labor, environmental protection, and occupational safety. The Copper Mark is also oriented to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the framework of the United Nations. For the criterion of responsible copper, lead, nickel, and zinc sourcing, the Copper Mark has furthermore developed a due diligence standard that is also expected to be an important instrument for the LME, one of the world’s most important metal exchanges, starting in 2022.

Further information about the Copper Mark at www.coppermark.org

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