Anticipated outcomes of our work together include:
1) A functional program for coordination and increasing interoperability between standards initiatives relevent to or as they apply to the mining, minerals and metals space.
2) An ongoing forum for participation in initiatives to engage collectively and strategically with all stakeholders with interest in the application of multi-stakeholder standards in the minerals, mining and metals space.
3) An integrated audit protocol for assessing compliance within each certification system through one audit.
4) Pilot tests of the protocol at two mine sites (one in the jewellery supply chain and one in the steel supply chain) with the aim to positively contribute to social and environmental values. At present, we hope to carry out these pilot tests in South Africa in 2021.
A study commissioned by the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development in 2018 identified 158 standards and related initiatives in the minerals, mining and metals space.
While some initiatives have a distinct focus, this large number and diversity of initiatives often results in diffusion and confusion as stakeholders attempt to relate them to their own work. Diffusion of effort and audit fatigue is commonly recognised as being a major barrier to the effectiveness of certification.
In recognising this challenge, the M3 Partnership seeks to minimise the duplication of effort, harmonise effective approaches to common issues, and provide a basis for purchasers, government and civil society to align their support for certification and maximise uptake and impact as a result.