Equivalency benchmarks

As consumer and stakeholder concerns over provenance and production methods have increased, so too has the proliferation of initiatives that establish standards for the responsible production of metals and minerals. ICMM’s Mining Principles is one of several, which include commodity-specific, cross-commodity and membership-based initiatives, and multi-stakeholder, customer-driven certification.

While each of these standards share the objectives of improving environmental, social and governance practices at operational level there are points of difference which must be carefully assessed on a case-by-case basis. Differences occur for several reasons including that ICMM and other standard owners are distinct organisations with different memberships, mandates, and governance structures. Standards that are geography or commodity specific are likely to emphasise environmental, social or governance challenges unique to that commodity or geography and the drivers behind how and why each standard was developed are likely to be similar, but not the same.

Recognising this, ICMM has undertaken this equivalency benchmarking exercise, working alongside the other standard owners, with three key aims in mind:

  1. Simplification – to support investors, consumers, and other stakeholders in their understanding of how these standards address a range of sustainability concerns, and the extent to which there are similarities and differences between them. 
  2. Efficiency – to make self-assessment and/or 3rd party validation processes more efficient for mining companies, including situations where validation is conducted for two or more standards at the same time.  
  3. Transparency – to promote transparency around mining and metals sector standards and validation processes.

Equivalency is assessed by evaluating whether the requirements contained within the other standards have the same scope of activities and intended outcomes as those contained in the Mining Principles and vice versa. There is no overall equivalency rating between ICMM’s Mining Principles and the corresponding standard. Each individual requirement within the other standard is assessed on its own merits and an assessment of ‘meets’, ‘exceeds’, ‘partially meets’, ‘miss’ and ‘N/A’ is assigned.

The list of those benchmarks being marked against ICMM’s Mining Principles is not finite, and other relevant standards can and will be assessed in time.

ICMM company members are required to disclose their validation activities on an annual basis on their corporate website or in their sustainability or corporate reports. Disclosure will initially be in summary form from the beginning of 2022, with fuller disclosure that enables interested parties to understand the status of implementation of all Performance Expectations for a given asset is expected from September 2023.

Performance Standard

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard defines 59 environmental, social and governance principles and criteria, with the aim to address sustainability issues in the aluminium value chain.

Learn more

The Copper Mark

The Copper Mark is an assurance framework to demonstrate the copper industry’s responsible production practices and industry contribution to the United Nations SDGs.

Learn more

Code of Practices (COP) 2019 Standard

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) Code of Practices (COP) 2019 Standard defines the requirements for establishing responsible business practices throughout the jewellery supply chain, from mine to retail.

Learn more

Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA)

The Responsible Mining Initiative (RMI) The Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA) is a self-assessment and self-reporting tool for minerals and metals producers and processors to communicate their environmental, social and governance practices and performance.

Learn more

Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM)

Mandatory for all Mining Association of Canada (MAC) members, TSM requires the assessment and independent validation of 30 distinct and in-depth performance indicators addressing eight critical aspects of social and environmental mine, smelter and refinery site-level performance.

Learn more

Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RPMG)

The World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs) is a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining.

Learn more

Supporting documents


Briefing paper on ICMM's Mining Principles equivalency benchmarking process.