TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) - ESG certification for mining, smelting, and refining

TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS)

Get certified and prove your ESG compliance in mining, processing, smelting, and refining

Proving ESG-compliance (Environmental & Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance) in mining, processing, smelting and refining gains more and more importance and is definitely THE market requirement of today and for the future. TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) provides proof of ESG-compliance for all mineral raw materials to all companies in the mining sector worldwide.

The CPS certifies a facility (e.g. mine site) or sequence of operations (e.g. mine site and processing plant). It is the first completed standard of the certification system TÜV NORD CERA 4in1, that will cover the complete raw material value chain – exploration; mining, refining and smelting; chain of custody up to the final product.   

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Why should my company get certified according to CPS?

ESG compliance is the success factor of the future. Also, responsible production processes have arrived in the mining sector. Due to increasing consumer interest in sustainable goods ESG-principles are increasingly integrated into legislation with a tangible impact on the sector of mining, processing, smelting, and refining. ESG principles have rapidly reached the status of being a standard necessity in the mining sector and are becoming more than just a competitive advantage. ESG compliance has become a must-have and the key factor that determines success or failure on the market.

Companies that cannot meet ESG requirements face increasing challenges, such as declining sales, increased insurance costs, difficulties acquiring investment next to reputational damages for brand and business, and negative media coverage.

Certified, ESG-compliant companies on the other hand will be able to produce more valuable products and improve their profit margins and their brand image in the long term. Therefore, future sustainable success in the mining sector is not possible without meeting ESG criteria.

The solution? Getting certified to prove ESG-compliance. But the market situation of certificates is often confusing and fragmented: Previous certificates have only been able to cover part of the value chain or certain mineral raw materials.

The CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) is the first step in achieving one system that covers all minerals and the entire value chain. It is the perfect solution to meet ESG requirements, structured and step-by-step. Moreover, a general set of standard criteria and its individual guiding document for implementation, the audit check list customized to each organization, ensures that companies are not overburdened in the process of compliance.

Benefits for CPS certified companies in the mining sector

The CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS) proves the company’s ESG-compliance to investors, shareholders, customers, business partner, governments, employees, and society. Thus, the certified company becomes a trusted and responsible partner that is more attractive in the market and benefits from:

  • Well-designed, holistic certification standard:
    • Complete scope (certification for all sizes of enterprises, locations, and mineral raw materials)
    • Structured certification process (step-by-step implementation of standard requirements considering ISO 9001 and OECD 5-step framework, standardized audit process according to ISO 19011, avoidance of company overload)
    • Compliance to given national and international legislative requirements such as the EU Critical Raw Materials Act or the German Supply Chain Act etc.
    • Part of the universal (ESG) certification system TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 – a four step solution for sustainable development in the mineral raw materials sector
  • Proven ESG compliance that leads to:
    • Cost reduction:
      efficient production, reduced costs for environmental and social damages, reduced insurance costs, reduced financing costs
    • Increased attractiveness for investors/partners/clients:
      competitive advantages, access to unique markets
    • Improvement of brand image:
      positioning as more sustainable and responsible partner
    • Risk minimization:
      social license to operate, ensured credibility towards stakeholders, reduced supply chain risks
    • Legal certainty:
      preparation for legal compliance, acting as reliable business partner


Our standardized CPS certification process

During CPS certification you can rely on a well-designed and structured certification process. The step-by-step audit cycle helps to avoid overburdening your company in the audit process and during implementation of corrective actions:

CPS – First step to the universal certification system


The CERA 4in1 Performance Standard CPS is the first step of a bigger vision: to increase worldwide sustainability and reliability of critical raw material tracking. The four-step certification system TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 enables companies to obtain certification from exploration to the final product for all raw materials used.

This certification system proves the ESG-compliance of companies and their processes along the entire value chain in the mining sector: from exploration through extraction and processing up to the end products. The biggest advantage of TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 is that it targets all kind of minerals, everywhere in the world and is applicable to any size of enterprise.  

The goal of TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 is to act as a universal (ESG) system for the mineral raw materials sector, CPS being the first of four standards that is being launched to market.

How time-consuming is the CPS certification process?

The actual duration of the certification process depends very much on the company, its size, its location, its status quo, and many other individual factors. Therefore, every certification scope is tailored to the needs of the respective company.

FAQs regarding TÜV NORD CERA 4in1 Performance Standard (CPS)

When will the remaining standards be introduced?

In Q2 2024 the CERA 4in1 Readiness Standard (CRS) will be launched to the market, the extension of the CERA 4in1 Performance Standard is right now being finalized and will follow in Q4 2024, the CERA 4in1 Chain of Custody Standard (CCS) and the CERA 4in1 Final Product Standard (CFS) will be released in Q4 2025.

How does CPS interact with existing schemes?

It is the explicit objective of CPS to simplify the certification framework for companies in order to achieve alignment with ESG principles and legal obligations. Existing, already implemented certification frameworks serve as evidence of compliance with the CERA 4in1 criteria within the certification processes. This approach allows for the co-existence of established and effective certification schemes.

Is CPS replacing existing schemes?

No, CPS aims to integrate rather than replace other systems. CPS strives to establish a uniform and comprehensive framework that remains consistent across minerals and regions.

Who developed CPS (and CERA 4in1)?

The TÜV NORD GROUP has taken a leading role in the further development of the CERA 4in1 research initiative from the very beginning through its subsidiaries TNCERT (as a certificate holder) and DMT (as an expert in mining and sustainability). The concept of an accessible, universally applicable, and standardised certification programme was developed by TÜV NORD GROUP in 2015. It was then further developed into a research project that is financially supported by EIT Raw Materials - a leading global consortium in the field of raw materials - until 2021. This collaboration involved several prestigious academic and institutional partners, including the Universiteit Leiden, Montanuniversität Leoben, LTU Business AB, Research Institutes Sweden (RISE), DMT GROUP (Project Leader) as well as TÜV NORD CERT GmbH (Certification).
The completion of all CERA 4in1 standards is conducted within the framework of the EU-funded MaDiTraCe project. This project, which runs until 2026, aims to improve the transparency, reliability and sustainability of complex supply chains for critical raw materials (CRM). Supported by a wide range of influential international partners, some of whom are members of the advisory board, such as BRGM, CEA, EIT Raw Materials, GTK, Leiden Universiteit, Metso:Outotec, TÜV NORD GROUP, the project's mission is to provide a solid foundation for these goals. For more details, see here: MaDiTraCe Project

Why does CPS think a new framework is necessary?

Before CPS was introduced, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users were facing a multitude of standards, varying in quality and scope. CPS streamlines the certification framework for companies, with a focus on accessibility for small and medium-sized enterprises. It hereby simplifies the situation for OEMs and end customers.

Why should businesses consider joining CPS?

Through cooperation with CPS, companies are enabled to make a positive contribution to the environment and society. A company's social and environmental impact is enhanced on a large scale, leading to a reduction in reputational risks, differentiation from competitors and an increase in product quality. Furthermore, evidence can be provided that certified companies have no negative impact on their long-term profitability due to their responsible conduct.

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