news | 2021-02-17
A picture of a woman, Maria Sunér, CEO at Svemin

We want to push for the development of a global standard for sustainable metals

Svemin, the Swedish Association of Mines, Mineral and Metal Producers, initiated TraceMet. What is their reaction now that the pilot project is completed?

The pilot project TraceMet has now reached its end. Work is underway to complete interim reports from the work packages and a comprehensive popular scientific report.

Maria Sunér, CEO of Svemin, gives her view on the project.

Why did Svemin initiate TraceMet?

We are convinced that in the long run, it will be necessary to be able to trace the origin of metals, and thus distinguish sustainably produced metals from other metals. Sweden is far ahead in our sustainability efforts and therefore we want to support our member companies in that work. They have high ambitions; they invest intensively in achieving fossil-free production and implement the industry's new roadmap for increased biodiversity. We also want to drive the development of this traceability system because we believe that it benefits the Swedish mineral industry. Therefore, our investment in TraceMet is a way to be at the forefront.

What is your view on the result?

It is very exciting that the project has technically succeeded in developing a pilot for traceability. Sustainability certification for metals that can be reused and recycled is far more complicated than to environmentally certify a banana, for example. We are extremely pleased that the entire value chain, from mines to manufacturers, has been involved in the work. Our goal is to further develop this pilot system, to track other metals through yet more value chains.

What happens now?

We want to continue testing and broadening the TraceMet system. Swedish Mining Innovation, the innovation program for the Swedish mining and metal producing industry that financed the project, has also signalled interest in a continuation. It can be about other metals, like those used in batteries, but also aspects such as social sustainability and biodiversity. We also want to have a dialogue with international partners and push for the development of a global standard throughout entire value chains for sustainably produced metals and minerals.

What do you hope will happen in the future?

In the longer run, we want to see global systems for better traceability of metals, systems that cover sustainability aspects through value chains. Social conditions can be the next step, as the working conditions in the metal industry is a big question, globally. We believe that the Swedish mining and minerals industry has a competitive advantage regarding those issues. TraceMet is a sustainable solution for creating a global standard, but the question of who will build and operate the system is still open for discussion.