TÜV NORD launches ESG certification concept for the raw materials sector

31 January 2024 | Certification: TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 is the first certification concept for mineral raw materials along the entire value chain.

A major milestone in the raw materials sector towards traceability, transparency, and sustainability has been reached: The launch of TÜV NORD CERA 4in1. CERA 4in1 is the first holistic, globally applicable, four-step certification concept for mineral raw materials along the entire value chain up to the final product. This certification concept is a necessary step towards a truly sustainable transformation in the natural resources sector. As of today, the TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) is the first standard of CERA 4in1 available on the market. The CPS supports production facilities in the areas of mining, processing, smelting, and refining in meeting the requirements of ESG principles, environmental and social responsibility, and corporate governance – the key factors for a sustainable future.

Establishing a holistic certification concept in the raw materials sector capable of managing the highly complex certificate landscape is a pivotal milestone. Raw materials play an especially essential role in addressing the challenges of our time, such as the sustainable transformation of our society, digitalization, the transition to renewable energy, and transportation. The raw materials sector is challenged with an increasing number of tasks and legal regulations that are being implemented in Europe and around the globe to achieve transparency and sustainability. But these challenges also provide new opportunities that will change the raw materials sector worldwide. The EU-funded TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 certification system, with its four integrated standards, is perfectly equipped to help accomplish these tasks and fulfill the expectations of all stakeholders, including investors, shareholders, clients, business partners, governments, employees, and society itself. This certification system enables end consumers and businesses to make sustainable purchasing decisions.

What is CERA 4in1?

CERA 4in1 is the first and so far only certification concept that provides proof of ESG-compliance along the entire value chain: from exploration through extraction and processing up to the final products. The four-step solution with its integrated standards, the Readiness Standard (CRS), the Performance Standard (CPS), the Chain of Custody Standard (CCS), and the Final Product Standard (CFS) has big advantages: It targets all kind of minerals, all around the world and is applicable to companies of all sizes.

Sandra Gerhartz, Managing Director, TÜV NORD CERT, explains the current market situation: “Sustainability certifications in the raw materials sector are extremely complex and often vary significantly. To enable transparency all the way to the end user, we need a smart and streamlined certification process to reliably measure ESG compliance and certify accordingly. CERA 4in1 is the first worldwide certification concept that covers all minerals along the entire value chain up to the final product.”

Considering the shortcomings of existing certificates covering only parts of the value chain or certain raw materials and thus creating a confusing, complex and fragmented market situation, the universal approach of CERA 4in1 simplifies the certification process, reduces complexity and brings transparency and reliability to the raw materials sector. Today’s launch of the CPS is the beginning of a transition in the raw materials sector which will create sustainable and secure supply chains for the future.

What are the benefits of CPS?

The TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard is a milestone achieved toward transparency in the raw materials sector. It enables companies of all sizes in the areas of mining, processing, smelting, and refining to certify their facilities (e.g. mine sites and processing plants) as ESG-compliant. The well-structured step-by-step approach prevents an overburdening in the process while still fulfilling all ESG requirements.

“CPS enables mining companies of all sizes to receive a clear route to meeting the sustainability requirements of international markets. Being certified according to CPS contributes to the long-term profitability and competitiveness of the company in the raw materials sector, making it a trustworthy business partner, who demonstrates responsibility” confirms Dr. Andreas Hucke, TIC-Manager CERA 4in1, TÜV NORD CERT.

The impact of the CPS has already been tested in practice. A major German car manufacturer has already carried out a comprehensive sustainability audit in accordance with the first standard, the CERA 4in1 Performance Standard, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as a pilot project finalized in 2023 in collaboration with a cobalt mining company. In another pilot, the mutual recognition of a national ESG standard with the international CERA 4in1 standards was successfully trialed as part of a pilot project with the Spanish holding company ICL Iberia. This means that national producers can also use CERA 4in1 to fulfil international sustainability requirements and expand their markets. 

CPS is a major step in supporting the raw materials sector on its path to a sustainable future. CPS and CERA 4in1 have the potential to shape a better future for us all by enhancing transparency, building trust, contributing to environmental and social goals, and thus helping to establish responsible business practices.


For more detailed information, please visit:

Factsheet (PDF)

CERA 4in1 System:





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