Fairtrade Gold and Precious Metals (Fairtrade Gold) is an initiative that aims to support artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) and the communities they live in. ASM mining takes place in remote areas and usually involves poor and vulnerable people – including women and children- and is renowned for severe pollution and harsh working conditions. On top of this, ASM miners often lack access to mining rights, along with financial services, technology and market information that can make their work prosperous and reduce environmental impacts.
Mining and metals
The AWS Standard is an international, market-based standard that is designed to guide, incentivise and differentiate responsible water users.
The Standard is designed to achieve four water stewardship outcomes: good water governance, sustainable water balance, good water quality status and healthy status of important water-related areas. In order to achieve these, water stewards - those that implement the Standard - must follow a six-step continual improvement framework. The steps are:
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction scheme (GGAS) was a cap-and-trade mechanism designed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity producers, retailers, high emitting industries and facilities. This included power generators, electricity retailers, large energy users (over 100GWh/year) and ‘market customers’ – facilities such as factories that take electricity supply directly from the national grid.
Biodiversity offsets are a form of conditional environmental financing. Like their more well-known cousin, carbon offsets, various parties (e.g. governments, companies or individuals) look to compensate the damage they cause in one location by benefitting bidoversity somewhere else.
The International Standards Organisation has developed a series of standards that specify principles and requirements for organisations involved in greenhouse gas emission reporting. The ISO standards can be seen as guiding protocols providing general guidelines for the development of other programmes or standards.
The ISO standards relevant to GHG emissions are:
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) looks to limit the negative impact that some regulations and standards may have on free trade, while also allowing members the right to implement legitimate policy objectives including the protection of fauna and flora.
The overarching goal of the aggreement is therefore ensure that ‘unnecessary obstacles to trade’ are avoided. Such obstacles may include:
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is an independent financial organisation that invests in projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Partnership for Development Initiative commits ICMM member companies to improving and instigating partnerships between themselves, governments, development agencies and civil society to improve the contribution of mining to socio-economic development.
The initiative’s 6 priority areas are:
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, describing itself as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It applies to offset projects in the voluntary carbon trading sector and was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).
SOCIALCARBON (Version 5, 2013) is a complementary standard that certifies carbon reduction projects for their contributions to sustainable development. It is applied to lots of different projects that have already achieved certification for their carbon reduction/avoidance activities - from small ones such as income generation intiatives for local communities, to large one including hydroelectric plants.
The aims of the standard are to: