|Recycling of waste that contains metals is a growing economic opportunity for micro, small and medium enterprises and an important income source for the informal sector in developing and emerging economies (DEE). However, mechanisms to track sustainable recovery have not been fully developed yet. The Guidance Principles for the Sustainable Management of Secondary Metals (Guidance Principles ) are tackling this challenge by recommending five sustainability Principles and 17 Objectives , a gradual implementation approach and an assurance system and traceability mechanism (Chain of Custody) to economic operators, governments, standards initiatives, among others, willing to enforce the sustainable recovery of metals. The Guidance Principles are developed under an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) International Workshop Agreement (IWA) process and aim to especially benefit economic operators in DEE with weak regulations and enforcement. The paper aims to introduce the Guidance Principles , main issues raised along the process and future activities in selected DEE.