Rio Tinto’s Kennecott operation the first to achieve The Copper Mark for responsible production

MONTREAL, Canada–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto’s Kennecott site in the US is the first producer to be awarded the Copper Mark, the copper industry’s new independently assessed responsible production programme.

The Kennecott operation in Utah has demonstrated it meets over 30 criteria for responsible environmental, social and governance practices.

The Copper Mark is the first and only programme for responsible production in the copper industry. Originally developed by the International Copper Association with input from a broad range of stakeholders including customers, NGOs and producers, the Copper Mark is now an independent entity with a multi-stakeholder council.

Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat said, “We are proud to lead the copper industry in being awarded the Copper Mark, demonstrating our commitment to responsible production and transparency.

“The Copper Mark allows our customers to purchase copper from operations that have been independently assessed as meeting the highest environmental, social and governance standards, responding to the growing expectations of consumers around the world for sustainable supply chains.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Copper Mark and seeing this new programme embraced widely along the value chain, to support the role copper continues to play as a key material in a sustainable future.”

The Copper Mark’s Executive Director, Michèle Brülhart said “We congratulate Rio Tinto’s Kennecott site and the leadership they are taking to mine responsibly. We welcome them as our first awarded site.”

International Copper Association President, Tony Lea said, “The Copper Mark is an important milestone for the global copper industry and reflects stakeholders’ needs for greater transparency. We hope more producers will follow Rio Tinto’s lead and apply for the Copper Mark.”

Notes to editors

In 2017, the International Copper Association decided to explore responsible sourcing strategy options for copper. The Copper Mark concept was subsequently developed utilizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework and was developed to demonstrate that copper is not only being produced responsibly, but is also an important contributor to society’s overall sustainable development goals and local community needs. After extensive stakeholder consultation, pilot assessment with 25 member companies, and standards refinement, The Copper Mark was launched on 30th March 2020.

To achieve the Copper Mark, Rio Tinto’s Kennecott operations were independently assessed across more than 30 criteria covering the categories of Environment, Community, Business and Human Rights, Labour and Working Conditions and Governance.

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