Press Release

Aurubis plants in Hamburg and Lünen receive internationally recognized Copper Mark quality seal

Hamburg | Tuesday, July 26, 2022

  • Successful certification of sustainability in copper production
  • Independent audit of 32 internationally recognized sustainability criteria
  • Together with Aurubis Bulgaria three Aurubis sites now bear the quality seal
  • Olen plant (Belgium) soon to be the next Aurubis site to start the auditing procedure

The Aurubis sites in Hamburg and Lünen have successfully completed the Copper Mark certification process and now bear the recognized quality seal for sustainability in the copper industry. With the certification of the site in Pirdop, Bulgaria, in 2021, a total of three Aurubis Group sites have now been granted the Copper Mark seal. An additional one will soon follow: The Belgian site in Olen has officially committed itself to the Copper Mark and plans to complete the certification process within one year.

“As the world’s most sustainable and efficient smelter network, we are delighted that our Hamburg and Lünen sites have also successfully passed the comprehensive auditing process. The quality seal is a confirmation of our strategy to continuously expand our position as an industry leader in sustainability, and to meet our objective of creating value from raw materials responsibly in everything we do,” emphasizes Roland Harings, CEO of Aurubis AG.

During the certification process, the two sites were audited on the basis of 32 internationally recognized sustainability criteria for about one year. These criteria, which are assessed independently of one another, include environmental and climate protection, energy efficiency, occupational health and safety, compliance, and human rights. The Copper Mark therefore looks at a company’s responsible business activities as a whole. The certification process consists of multiple stages: The plants’ initial self-assessment regarding all of the criteria was followed by an external audit process carried out by an independent auditor. “To verify Aurubis’ sustainability performance, the Copper Mark assesses a random selection of company statements in anonymous conversations with employees, external partners, public officials, and neighborhood representatives,” explains Christian Hein, Head of Sustainability at Aurubis. These conversations confirm the positive development of sustainability at the Aurubis sites. Furthermore, the Copper Mark certification pays off the Aurubis label Tomorrow Metals, under which the company bundles its numerous efforts for more sustainable actions and business practices towards business partners and customers. 

During the process, Aurubis Hamburg and Aurubis Lünen were also able to incorporate and exercise their existing ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety) and 14001 (environmental management) certifications. Receiving the Copper Mark is an important milestone for Axel Brand, Deputy Head of the Hamburg site: “The seal confirms our efforts to operate responsibly and sustainably on a daily basis, and to take concrete measures to continuously improve. I am particularly pleased about the certification because the Copper Mark was developed specifically for our industry and the entity is very familiar with our processes, conditions, and potential.”

Michael Jordan, Lünen plant manager, explains: “The Copper Mark certification has shown us what our strengths are, and helps us improve in certain areas. This approach of continuous optimization is consistent with our understanding of sustainability and is common practice in our work. I’m happy that the Copper Mark is acknowledging the previous work that the Lünen site has done so far.”

“We would like to congratulate the Aurubis plants in Hamburg and Lünen on acquiring the Copper Mark seal. This certification underlines Aurubis’ dedication to ensuring that copper production processes are responsible,” says Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of the Copper Mark. “We look forward to the ongoing collaboration with Aurubis AG and its sites and are pleased that they actively support the Copper Mark organization and its framework.”

The Copper Mark

The Copper Mark is the 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. More than 40 sites have joined the Copper Mark so far. A pilot project is currently underway with companies involved in downstream copper processing; the certificate for the Hamburg plant already includes this processing step. The 32 sustainability criteria of the Risk Readiness Assessment of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) apply to the Copper Mark and cover topics such as compliance, child labor, environmental protection, and occupational safety. It 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 also serves to fulfill the responsible metal sourcing standards of the London Metal Exchange (LME), one of the world’s most important metal exchanges.

More information about the Copper Mark is available at www.coppermark.org

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