How it Works

How it Works

Standards Comparison

The Standards Comparison distills over 50 standards commonly used in the materials value chain to their basic requirements in 25 issue areas, and is periodically refreshed to reflect changes in standards requirements. The issue areas relate to the social, environmental and governance issues affecting the extraction and processing of raw materials. In each area of risk a “norm,” or median level of practice as defined in the distillation of standards, has been defined where the propensity of standards have most commonly set their requirements. The “norm” therefore represents the requirement that is most broadly accepted across best-practice standards and certification systems.

 Risk Criteria for Standards Comparison
 Social  Environmental  Governance

Occupational Health & Safety

Environmental & Social Mgt Systems Special treatment of Conflict Minerals
Community Health & Safety GHG Emissions Land Acquisition & Resettlement
Child Labor Energy Consumption Shareholder Engagement
Gender Equality Non-Tailings Waste Business Integrity
(Contribution to) Community Development Biodiversity & Protected Areas Legal Compliance
Security and Human Rights Mine Closure and Reclamation Verification
Special Treatment of Indigenous Peoples Freshwater Abstraction & Consumption  
Special Treatment of ASM / SSM Pollution  
Cultural Heritage Tailings  
Labor Rights and Working Conditions    


The outcome is a detailed comparison, benchmarking each analyzed standard to the norm and indicating where the standard “misses,” “meets,” “exceeds” or “leads” the norm across all issue areas.

Risk Readiness Assessment (RRA)

The RRA applies to any upstream company from minerals or metals processors down to the minerals or metals producers. It includes two main parts: (1) the overview of the company’s profile, and (2) a self-assessed rating across approximately 25 issue areas. The self-assessment compares the company’s own risk practices against the norm defined by the Standard Comparison. Rather than have a focus on compliance, the goal is to recognize good practices where they exist and to encourage, inspire and lead others to adopt them. In addition, use of the RRA fosters improved dialogue with upstream partners on social and environmental issues, including an understanding of where potential risks exist that could impact the resiliency of a supply chain.

The outcome of the RRA shows whether the company “misses,” “meets” or “exceeds” the normative benchmark for each of the 25 issue areas. This information can create a rich data set to understand where there are strengths and “hot spots,” creating a number of benefits to participants in the supply chain.

Figure 1: RRA Sample Survey Results:


 Figure 2: RRA Sample Survey Results Highlighting Areas of Performance & Risk:

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Bob Mitchell.