TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 – Certification of mineral raw materials

TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 – ESG certification for the entire mineral raw materials value chain

With the introduction of TÜV NORD CERA 4in1, proving sustainable development along the entire value chain in the mining sector has become an achievable goal. CERA 4in1 is the first and (so far) only certification system that will provide proof of ESG-compliance (Environmental & Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance) from exploration through extraction and processing up to the end products.
And most important: CERA 4in1 targets all kind of minerals, everywhere in the world and is applicable to any size of enterprise.
Therefore, CERA 4in1 can be used as universal (ESG) system for the mineral raw materials sector.

ESG compliance– the new success factor in mining

ESG compliance is THE essential market requirement of today and for the future. As a result of the growing consumer demand for sustainable products, ESG principles are increasingly being written into legislation. This affects the entire value chain – from initial planning to the final product. Currently "just" a competitive advantage, ESG compliance will soon be a standard requirement in the mining sector. Companies that do not comply with acknowledged ESG criteria will increasingly be facing challenges like reduced sales, rising insurance costs, damages to reputation, negative media coverage and difficulties in finding investors. Vice versa, certified companies that fulfill ESG requirements will be able to produce more valuable products with long-term better margins. Thus, ESG is key to long-term success in the mining sector.

The solution: The universal certification standard TÜV NORD CERA 4in1

Previous certificates have only been able to cover part of the value chain or certain mineral raw materials, putting companies into a confusing and fragmented market situation. TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 is introducing one system with four standards that cover all minerals and the entire value chain.

Overview of the four certification standards

CERA 4in1 Readiness Standard (CRS)

CRS covers the (pre-)investment and exploration phase until the operating stage of a project. It defines criteria for the standardized evaluation of exploration projects according to social, environmental, and economic (ESG) aspects.

CERA 4in1 Chain of Custody Standard (CCS)

CCS applies to traded commodities and defines criteria for ensuring appropriate management systems for the traceability of responsibly sourced minerals, commodity-specific accounting methods, and chain of custody (CoC) material eligibility. This standard will ensure that all stakeholders in the supply chain meet the basic legal requirements concerning responsible sourcing and procurement.

CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS)

CPS upstream
CPS defines the ESG requirements for a production facility or a group of production facilities that cover the operations of mining, processing, smelting, and refining. 

CPS-II downstream
CPS-II defines the ESG requirements for a manufacturer and covers the manufacturing of semi-final products. 


More Information about CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS)

CERA 4in1 Final Product Standard (CFS)

CFS establishes the criteria necessary to label consumer goods, empowering consumers to make well informed decisions. It defines the necessary certification requirements for the supply chain of the final product, enabling consumers to distinguish certified from uncertified products.

Benefits of TÜV NORD CERA 4in1

TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 proves your ESG-compliance to investors, shareholders, customers, business partner, governments, employees, and society. Through certification your company becomes a trusted and responsible partner that is more attractive for investors and customers and produces more valuable products with long-term better margins.
You will benefit from:

  • Reduction of insurance and financing risks due to improved ESG performance
  • Readiness for and compliance with actual and upcoming legislation
  • Reduced supply chain risks
  • Market advantages, e. g. brand differentiation, consumer recognition for responsible products
  • Compliance with stakeholders expectations: civil society, customers, banks, stock exchanges etc.
  • Improved or sustained community involvement and consultation to obtain and maintain Social License to Operate

Your route to certification

The TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 standards are being implemented and launched to the market after being developed and tested accurately. The first completed standard that is now available on the market is the TÜV NORD CERA 4in Performance Standard (CPS) that covers the fields of mining, processing, smelting, and refining and certifies a facility (mine site, processing plant and/or refinery) or sequence of operations.

The remaining three standards (CRS, CCS and CFS) will follow shortly in 2024/2025 and will of course be announced here once they are launched to market.


Get certified now!

FAQs regarding TÜV NORD CERA 4in1

When will the CERA 4in1 system be fully introduced to the market?

The CERA 4in1 Readiness Standard (CRS) will be introduced in Q2 2024, the CERA 4in1 Chain of Custody Standard (CCS) and the CERA 4in1 Final Product Standard (CFS) will follow in Q4 2025.

How will CERA 4in1 interact with existing schemes?

The declared aim of CERA 4in1 is to streamline the certification landscape for companies in order to achieve compliance with ESG principles and legislative requirements. Already implemented certification schemes are considered as evidence for CERA 4in1 requirements during certification processes, which will allow existing and successful certification schemes to coexist.

Why does CERA 4in1 feel that a new framework is needed?

Up to now, OEMs or end customers had to deal with a multitude of standards of different quality and scopes. CERA 4in1 wants to streamline the certification landscape for companies and in order to be accessible for small- and medium sized enterprises and aims to simplify the situation for OEMs or end customers.

Who was engaged in the development of CERA 4in1?

From the beginning, TÜV NORD GROUP was leading in the development of the CERA 4in1 research project through its group companies TNCERT (as Certificate Owner) and DMT (as Expert in Mining & Sustainability). The idea for an affordable, universal, and standardized certification scheme was first originated in 2015 by TÜV NORD GROUP. It then further evolved into a research project, funded by the EIT Raw Materials until 2021, the largest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide in collaboration with a number of leading academic and institutional partners, including Universiteit Leiden, Montanuniversität Leoben, LTU Business AB and, Research Institutes Sweden (RISE), DMT GROUP (Project Leader) as well as TÜV NORD CERT GmbH (Certification).
The finalization of all CERA 4in1 standards is performed in MaDiTraCe, a EU-funded project, that aims to reinforce the transparency, reliability and sustainability of complex critical raw material (CRM) supply chains. The project runs until 2026 and is supported by many strong and international partners, also on the advisory board), e.g. BRGM, CEA, EIT Raw Materials, GTK, Leiden Universiteit, Metso:Outotec, TÜV NORD GROUP, and many more. Find out more here: MaDiTraCe Project

Is CERA 4in1 intended to replace existing schemes?

No. CERA 4in1 doesn't want to displace other systems, it wants to accept them during certification processes. CERA 4in1 is working to create a consistent, universal system regardless of mineral or region.

Why should businesses want to join CERA 4in1?

By working with CERA 4in1, businesses will be able to reach positive environmental and social imprint of their operations and linkages. The result of which will be an overall improvement in a company’s social and environmental impact, reducing reputational risks, developing a distinction from competitors, and improving the quality of product. In addition, it can be shown that companies that are certified with regard to their responsible acting have no negative impacts on their profitability in the long term.

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