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Pressrelease | 2021-03-10
Copper cog wheels in different sizes, moving together

New pilot system leverages traceability of environmental performance of metals

Where have the metals in the products we purchase and manufacture been sourced? To what degree do mining and production impact the climate? A pilot system developed by the IVL led TraceMet project reveals the climate footprint of component metals and the how much recycled materials they contain. The industry organization Svemin lies behind this project, which has involved stakeholders along the whole chain, from mining companies to end users.

– In the long run, this can be the jumping off point for a certification system for the metal industry, says Erik Lindblom, project manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

TraceMet has developed a system that reveals the metal’s climate footprint and shows how much recycled material it contains. The system is based on block chain technology that keeps track of changes in environmental performance as metals are refined by various actors.

The project has developed two different pilot systems. One follows the value chain for iron, from the mine via steel production to buses or trucks. The second targets copper, from mining through the manufacture of copper wire to electric motors.

The negative impact of the mining industry on both the environment and local communities is of concern to many. This prompted, Svemin, the industry organization for mines, minerals and metal producers in Sweden, to set up the TraceMet project – Traceability for sustainable metals and minerals.

Several projects addressing the certification of metals are being rolled out in parallel efforts around the world. TraceMet is unique in involving players across the entire value chain: the Boliden and LKAB mines, the raw material processors Elektrokoppar and SSAB, and the end users ABB, Scania and Volvo Group. All these companies have contributed both time and data to the project. Svemin is the project owner and IVL Swedish Environmental Institute has administered the project. Researchers from Rise have also taken part.

Those wishing to find out more about TraceMet’s conclusions and interested in exploring the possibility of introducing a traceability system for metals are welcome to participate in a webinar to be held on March 18. More information and registration details can be found here. External link.

For more information, please contact:
Erik Lindblom, erik.lindblom@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 65 71

TraceMet has been underway since December 2019 and is still ongoing (January 2021). It is run under the aegis of and financed by Swedish Mining Innovation, part of a joint investment in strategic innovation areas by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.

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