Policies & Issues

SCS Sustainable Standard Expands to Include Artisanal Gold Mines

Policies & IssuesApr 04, 2022

SCS Sustainable Standard Expands to Include Artisanal Gold Mines

The firm has partnered with the Alliance for Responsible Mining to bring “Certified Sustainability Rated Gold” to the market.

SCS Global Services and the Alliance for Responsible Mining have partnered to expand SCS’s sustainability certification to small-scale and artisanal gold mines. (Photo credit: Alliance for Responsible Mining)
Emeryville, Calif.—SCS Global Services and the Alliance for Responsible Mining have partnered to expand the SCS 007 Sustainability Rated Jewelry Standard to include gold from artisanal and small-scale mines (ASM).

The move aims to allow those participating in ARM’s Sustainable Mines Program to have their gold independently evaluated under the SCS-007 standard and marketed to consumers as “Certified Sustainability Rated Gold.”

To streamline the integration of ASM mines into SCS-007, the supply chain evaluations will use existing specialized ASM standards developed by ARM: the Fairmined Standard and CRAFT Code.

ASM organizations will also undergo life cycle assessment to confirm their gold mining operations are climate neutral and are working to reduce other impacts. 

There will also be origin confirmation testing conducted by Source Certain International, a forensic testing lab for provenance analysis. 

The SCS-007 certificate will contain details regarding CRAFT Code conformity verification and mines support by ARM. 

Both the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Mercury Free Mining (MFM) will be involved in bringing ASM mines and stakeholders into the process.

Refiner and manufacturer Hoover & Strong and the Fair Trade Jewellery Company also have been working with SCS, bringing their experience as the first two companies in North America to market Fairtrade, Fairmined, and responsibly sourced gold from the Congo.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Hoover & Strong will provide refining services to the gold mines involved. 

Meanwhile, the first jewelers in the program will be members of the FairSources Group, a global network of cooperating independent jewelers founded by the Fair Trade Jewellery Company.

“This agreement represents another important advance for the jewelry industry, bringing state-of-the-art science to the verification of origin, sustainability, and climate claims for ASM-sourced gold,” said Gina D’Amato, Executive Director of ARM. “It is one more way that we can support the lives and livelihoods of artisanal and small-scale mining communities while simultaneously working to protect the environment and climate.”

SCS performs third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development. 

Launched in 2021, the SCS-007 Sustainability Rated Jewelry Standard was the first comprehensive, multi-stakeholder sustainability standard developed for the gem-quality diamond sector. 

It’s now being expanded to precious metals and gemstones. 

Requirements for the standard address five aspects of sustainability: verified origin traceability, ethical stewardship, climate neutrality, sustainable production practices, and sustainability investments.

Part of each certification fee goes to supporting ASMs.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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