Photo: Lisbeth Dahllöf, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute (Rights: IVL)
We have received an update from Lisbeth Dahllöf, expert in life cycle analysis and resource efficiency at IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, who is the project leader for the certification work package in Swedish Mining Innovation’s strategic project Tracemet.
What is it that you have examined in your work package?
– There is a great interest from the industry to be able to report where you have bought your metal, how large a share is recycled, what carbon footprint it has and so on. We have therefore reviewed what opportunities companies have to report this, their wishes, what data they have, what standards exist and how the requirements for reporting could be formulated based on this.
It sounds like something that should have been interesting for a long time, why is it happening right now?
– On the one hand, customers have gained even more focus on the social and environmental problems with metal production and have begun to make higher demands, and on the other hand, the large electrification trend means that large quantities of new types of metals are needed. Together, this gives companies great reason to be interested in their and the supply chain’s emissions. If you have a better production, you also want to be able to show it.
What have you come up with?
– That it is possible to make a certification scheme and follow the data of a supply chain! Together with the industry partners, we have arrived at the most important rules and criteria for how these should be measured and reported.
What has been the biggest challenge?
– A challenge is that all participants enter the project from such different angles, with different needs, interests and knowledge levels in the issue. But since everyone wants to make this work, everything has been solved so far. For example, continuous reporting is something everyone basically wants to achieve in the future, but we have had to settle for a level that is possible right now.
What significance can the result have?
– That we in the project show that it is possible to achieve a traceability system for two metal supply chains. This in turn leads to increased transparency, which means that customers and consumers can place higher demands on energy and resource use and carbon dioxide emissions, while at the same time motivating companies to compete with the help of sustainability. Our work should also be able to spill over from the Swedish steel and copper industry to other metal industries but also to, for example, plastics and concrete.
What is the next step?
– If we get a continuation of the project, it would be interesting to really try the system including external audit. There is also an interest in continuing to look at how companies can communicate environmental performance in a standardized and transparent way and how it can be linked to other systems, such as environmental product declarations.
Want to know more about the certification system and the results of the work package? Contact project leader Lisbeth Dahllöf.
The interview is also published on TraceMet’s website by the project manager IVL Swedish Environmental Institute.