St. Gallen, September 2015: The Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) has published a paper on “Social Criteria for the Sustainable Management of Secondary Metals”.

The document seeks to present a review of literature and analysis on criteria to identify issues of concern that might be useful and applicable to ensure sustainable management of secondary resources, with a specific focus on secondary metals. The review is undertaken from a social perspective and, in particular, takes into account the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the informal sector in developing countries.

The publication includes a review of international principles and guidelines, guides for the development of standards, e-waste and metal recycling standards and standards for other natural resources, best practices and recommendations, as well as indicators. On the basis of this review, a comprehensive set of social issues of concern is also proposed in relation to the three main groups of stakeholders identified: workers, the local community and society.

This assessment is framed within the Roundtable on Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI Roundtable). The SRI Roundtable states that, while international efforts on standards and traceability mechanisms to ensure sustainable mining of raw materials exist, similar tools for secondary resources are still missing. The SRI Roundtable seeks to fill that gap by developing internationally recognized Guidance Principles to ensure that environmental and socio-economic aspects are taken into account in current and emerging standards on specific metals, in particular regarding the context and needs of MSMEs in developing countries.

The SRI Roundtable is jointly implemented by the World Resources Forum (WRF) and the Institute for Materials Science & Technology (Empa), and is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) as part of the Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) programme.

The report can be downloaded here.