Guidance principles for the sustainable management of secondary metals

IWA 19:2017 provides a global framework for the sustainable management of secondary metals. The framework includes sustainability and traceability requirements for metals recovered. IWA 19:2017 guides economic operators of secondary metals value chains, including those engaged in the informal sector, in the efficient and credible implementation of improved recycling practices, in particular in emerging and developing economies.

Principes directeurs pour la gestion durable des métaux de seconde fusion

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Guidance principles for the sustainable
management of secondary metals
Principes directeurs pour la gestion durable des métaux de seconde
Reference number
IWA 19:2017(E)
ISO 2017

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IWA 19:2017(E)

© ISO 2017, Published in Switzerland
All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form
or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior
written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of
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ii © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved

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IWA 19:2017(E)

Contents Page
Foreword .v
Introduction .vi
1 Scope . 1
2 Normative references . 1
3 Terms and definitions . 1
4 Abbreviated terms . 8
5 Sphere of application . 9
5.1 General . 9
5.2 Materials . 9
5.3 Processes . 9
5.4 Economic operators .10
5.5 Users .10
5.6 Supporting mechanisms .10
6 Sustainability requirements .11
6.1 Overview .11
6.2 Principle 1: Enabling safe, healthy and equitable working conditions .14
6.3 Principle 2: Building and strengthening local community relations and resilience .19
6.4 Principle 3: Conserving and protecting the environment and natural resources .20
6.5 Principle 4: Improving recovery of secondary metals .24
6.6 Principle 5: Implementing a sustainable management approach .25
7 Traceability requirements .29
7.1 Overview .29
7.2 Description of the requirements .30
7.2.1 General.30
7.2.2 Policy and procedures .30
7.2.3 Responsibilities .31
7.2.4 Product documentation and records . .31
7.2.5 Compliant claims .32
7.3 Supporting mechanisms for the implementation of traceability requirements.32
8 Assurance systems .32
8.1 Overview .32
8.2 Short-term assurance systems .33
8.2.1 General.33
8.2.2 Self-assessments: first-party audits .33
8.3 Medium-term assurance systems .33
8.3.1 General.33
8.3.2 Due diligence in the medium-term .34
8.3.3 EPR programme monitoring in the medium-term .34
8.3.4 CoC assessment in the medium-term .34
8.4 Long-term assurance systems .35
8.4.1 General.35
8.4.2 Due diligence and EPR programme monitoring in the long term .35
8.4.3 CoC assessment in the long term .35
8.5 Independent reviews .35
8.6 Integration into an existing assurance system .35
9 Implementation .35
9.1 Overview .35
9.2 Steps and timeframe towards compliance and trading considerations .36
9.3 EPR and ERS programmes .38
9.4 Roles of economic operators involved in OBA in support of SA .39
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Annex A (informative) Worst practices of secondary metals recovery and steps towards
improvement to good practices .40
Annex B (informative) Monitoring and evaluation plan .44
Annex C (informative) Workshop contributors .47
Bibliography .49
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IWA 19:2017(E)

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards
bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out
through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical
committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International
organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.
ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of
electrotechnical standardization.
The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are
described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the
different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the
editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of
patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of
any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or
on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).
Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not
constitute an endorsement.
For an explanation on the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and
expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the
World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following
URL: w w w . i s o .org/ iso/ foreword .html.
International Workshop Agreement IWA 19 was approved at a workshop hosted by the World Resources
Forum (WRF), in association with the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV), held in Davos,
Switzerland, in October 2015.
The idea to develop guidance principles for the sustainable management of secondary metals was
proposed by the Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) Roundtable , which is an initiative of the World
Resources Forum (WRF) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
(EMPA). The development process was assisted by the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV)
and funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The guidance principles draw
on existing key research and sustainability standards, e.g. from the Responsible Jewellery Council
[41] [42] [10]
(RJC, 2012 ; RJC, 2013 ), the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI, 2014), and the European
Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (via the CENELEC standards).
This document was developed between July 2015 and December 2016, and was reviewed and agreed
through a public and transparent process encompassing in-country consultations, and involving
the private sector, governments, inter-governmental organizations, practitioners, civil society
organizations and researchers working in the field of secondary metals. The International Social and
Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance Codes of Good Practice were
also used in the process of developing the guidance principles.
1) www .sustainable -recycling .org
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0.1  Metal recycling and impacts
Recycling metals such as aluminium, copper and gold found in waste, e.g. resulting from electronic and
electrical equipment, cars, ships, packaging materials or construction activities, is a rapidly growing
economic activity worldwide. In Latin America alone, the amount of electronic waste generated
annually is expected to grow from 2,84 million tons in 2009 to 4,79 million tons in 2018 (Magalini et al.,
2015 ).
In developing and emerging economies recycling is mainly done through the informal sector (e.g. in
India this sector recycles more than 90 % of all generated e-waste), which plays a critical role in the
recycling of secondary metals.
These uncontrolled metals recovery activities release pollutants into the air, soil and water, which,
combined with poor working conditions and poor health and safety practices, create significant
negative impacts on workers, communities and the environment (Robinson, 2009 ; International
[24] [44]
Labour Office, 2012 ; SRI, 2015 ). Most critical are the impacts on vulnerable workers in the
informal sector.
While formal stakeholders handle metallurgical processing more efficiently than the informal sector,
the latter has proven to be more efficient at collecting and preparing waste that contain metals (e.g.
through manual processing). Thus, the informal sector plays a critical role in recycling.
Furthermore, a growing number of formal recyclers want to tap into the potential of increasing
secondary metals recovery, both in volume and quality. As a consequence, competition on waste
streams is emerging between the informal and formal sectors. More and more waste is flowing from
the informal sector to formal recyclers. However, this does not happen in a structured and organized
way due to a lack of guidance and authoritative supporting frameworks.
0.2  Vision
The vision behind the guidance principles is to leverage the circular economy approach to ensure social
equity, environmental justice and optimal recovery in metal recycling worldwide, for present and
future generations.
Key pathways for the implementation of the guidance principles will be through:
— compliance with the guidance principles by economic operators involved in secondary metal
value chains;
— integration of the guidance principles into government policy, sustainability standards systems and
other organizations that would put in place supporting mechanisms.
0.3  Aims
The aim of the guidance principles is to provide a credible global framework for the sustainable
management of secondary metals.
More specifically, the guidance principles aim to:
— improve practices of economic operators (see Figure 4) by complying with sustainability
requirements based on principles and objectives (see Clause 6);
— ensure a credible traceability of recovered metals by complying with traceability requirements for
those who wish to demonstrate so (see Clause 7);
— promote the formalization of economic operators involved in subsistence activities (SA) and unofficial
business activities (UBA) by constituting themselves as legal entities or joining existing ones.
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The overarching values that inform the development and implementation of the guidance principles are
shared responsibility, transparency, engagement, continuous improvement and equity.
It is envisaged that there will be a number of beneficiaries of improved practices resulting from the
compliance with the principles and objectives and implementation of traceability schemes by economic
operators. The guidance principles aim to primarily benefit economic operators involved in SA in
developing and emerging economies, who are highly vulnerable to environmental and socio-economic
impacts, including child labour and occupational hazards due to uncontrolled practices (see Annex A)
and poor working conditions.
Anticipated benefits for economic operators involved in collection, manual and mechanical processing,
metallurgical processing, as well as transportation/trade and storage, are:
— improved safety at work and improved health outcomes for workers and their families;
— improved access to funding and credit from financial institutions willing to mitigate risks by
requiring compliance with the guidance principles;
— reduced risk of non-compliance with legal requirements; applicable laws and regulations may
require that recycled metals fulfil environmental and social criteria in line with the guidance
Potential benefits for economic operators involved in official business activities (OBA), such as product
manufacturers and other purchasers of secondary metals, include:
— increased revenue through improved market access and securing longer-term contracts “business
to business” and “business to consumer”, who may give preferential treatment to enterprises
providing materials and products that are compliant with the guidance principles;
— improved and more transparent management systems;
— secured access to secondary metal resources;
— demonstrated commitment to sustainability along their value chains.
0.4  Structure
Figure 1 illustrates the structure of this document. Clause 5 describes the elements that fall within
the sphere of application. Clause 6 introduces the sustainability requirements based on five principles
and 17 objectives. Each objective is accompanied by a set of explanatory notes, steps and timeframe. It
also has recommendations for supporting mechanisms to be adopted by governments and civil society
organizations, as well as the private sector or in public-private partnerships. Clause 7 describes the
traceability requirements. Clause 8 the path towards a robust assurance system. Clause 9 provides
guidance for an efficient and credible implementation of the guidance principles. Annex A identifies
a set of worst practices in metals recovery and good practices as options, wherever feasible. Annex B
introduces an example of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan.
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Figure 1 — Structure of this document
In this document, the following verbal forms are used:
— “shall” indicates a requirement;
— “should” indicates a recommendation.
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International Workshop Agreement IWA 19:2017(E)
Guidance principles for the sustainable management of
secondary metals
1 Scope
This document provides a global framework for the sustainable management of secondary metals. The
framework includes sustainability and traceability requirements for metals recovered.
This document guides economic operators of secondary metals value chains, including those engaged
in the informal sector, in the efficient and credible implementation of improved recycling practices, in
particular in emerging and developing economies.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at http:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
affected community
community that is directly impacted by the consequences of activities related to metal collection (3.6),
manual and mechanical processing, metallurgical processing (3.24), disposal (3.7) and/or use of residues
Note 1 to entry: These communities are usually located near operations and may be impacted either positively
(e.g. through job creation, infrastructure development and enhanced livelihoods) or negatively (e.g. through
pollution, noise disturbance and human rights violations).
[SOURCE: Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, 2009, modified]
assurance system
combination of verification mechanisms used to demonstrate compliance with a set of requirements
and that are based on regular and systematic monitoring of the performance of economic operators (3.9)
Note 1 to entry: Monitoring results can be used for external communication via claims (3.5).
chain of responsibility for or control of materials as they pass from one economic operator (3.9) to
another through each step of the process or product system under assessment
[SOURCE: ISO 13065:2015, 3.7, modified]
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child labour
work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is mentally,
physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children
Note 1 to entry: Child labour interferes with their schooling by:
—  depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;
—  obliging them to leave school prematurely; or
—  requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long hours and heavy duties.
Note 2 to entry: In its most extreme forms, child labour involves children being enslaved, separated from their
families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities,
often at a very early age.
Note 3 to entry: Children’s participation in work that contributes to their development and the welfare of their
families can be considered as positive in the context of the guidance principles if this provides them with skills
and experience, helps to prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult life and does not
affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling. These activities include helping
their parents around the home, assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and
during school holidays.
[SOURCE: ILO, 2016, modified]
statement used for communication purposes about compliance with the sustainability and traceability
requirements, and about the main characteristics of a batch of recovered materials, waste or end-of-
waste (3.11) that contain metals
Note 1 to entry: Claims are of two types:
—  On-product claims are attached to a specific batch of physical product, along with product documentation,
following the successful completion of a chain-of-custody (3.3) assessment based on third-party auditing (3.38).
They guarantee that a given batch of physical product is compliant.
—  Off-product claims indicate that a company or a facility was verified following second-party auditing (3.32)
and deemed compliant. Off-product claims are primarily used in general communications to the public (e.g.
annual reports and marketing documents).
gathering of waste, including the preliminary sorting and preliminary storage (3.36) of waste, for the
purposes of transport to storage, manual or mechanical processing, metallurgical processing (3.24) or
the next economic operator (3.9)
Note 1 to entry: Collection can be done through waste collectors involved in subsistence activities (3.37), curbside
collection services and recycling (3.29) centres.
[SOURCE: CENELEC, 2014, modified]
final or temporary placement of waste that is not salvaged for further metal reuse or recovery (3.28)
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due diligence
detailed assessment conducted by an economic operator (3.9) to evaluate a supplier’s compliance with
the guidance principles
Note 1 to entry: In the context of the guidance principles, due diligence is conducted through second-party audits
(3.32) or third-party audits (3.38) and, wherever feasible, regularly monitored through government inspections
and oversight.
economic operator
individual, enterprise, association, cooperative or organization involved in the collection (3.6), manual
or mechanical processing, metallurgical processing (3.24), transportation, trading, storage (3.36),
consumption/manufacturing and/or disposal (3.7) of waste that contains metals (3.43) and/or of
materials produced as part of subsistence activities (3.37), unofficial business activities (3.40) or official
business activities (3.25)
ecosystem services
benefits that people derive from ecosystems such as goods (e.g. food, fresh water, wood, fibre and fuel,
and other raw materials like plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms), essential supporting services
(e.g. nutrient cycling, pollination of crops, soil formation and primary production), regulating services
(e.g. climatic, flood and disease regulation, water purification) and cultural services (e.g. recreational,
aesthetic, spiritual, educational and a sense of place)
[SOURCE: The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003 ]
fractions or materials that have ceased to become waste, following a recovery (3.28) or recycling (3.29)
operation in compliance with the criteria in Article 6 of Directive 2008/98/EC, and which are sometimes
also termed secondary materials
[SOURCE: Directive 2008/98/EC ]
environmental and social impact assessment
instrument whose purpose is to identify and assess the potential environmental and social impacts of
a proposed project, evaluate alternatives and design appropriate mitigation/enhancement, monitoring,
consultative and institutional strengthening measures
[SOURCE: African Development Bank, 2001 ]
person under the jurisdiction of the state of export who arranges for material, products and/or waste
to be exported
[SOURCE: Basel Convention, modified]
extended producer responsibility programme
EPR programme
programme by which the producer’s liability for a product is extended to the safe and sustainable
collection (3.6), storage (3.36), recycling (3.29) or disposal (3.7) of a product
Note 1 to entry: In the context of the guidance principles, the main objective of an EPR programme is to support
compliance with the sustainability requirements.
Note 2 to entry: An EPR programme is implemented through a mix of the following instruments whose
implementation is regularly audited and monitored:
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—  Product take-back systems. Their primary aim is to increase collection of end-of-life products and, hence,
recycling that requires producers to collect the product at the post-consumer stage. This can be achieved through
collection and recycling targets of the product or materials and through incentives for consumers to bring the
used product back to the selling point.
—  Economic and market-based instruments. They aim to provide economic incentives to producers to comply
with EPR programmes. These instruments include measures such as deposit-refund schemes, advanced disposal
fees (ADF), material taxes and upstream combination taxes/subsidies (UCTS).
—  Re

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