CERA 4in1 - Certification of Mineral Raw Materials for sustainable development in mining

A vision becomes reality: The certification system CERA 4in1 is here to increase sustainability and transparency in mining and enable companies worldwide to obtain certification for being ESG-compliant along their entire supply chain. CERA 4in1 provides tangible proof of environmental and social responsibility as well as corporate governance (ESG) for all kinds of minerals, everywhere in the world and is applicable to any size of enterprise.

For this purpose, the CERA 4in1 system divides the value chain into four distinct certification standards, customized to meet the needs of each value chain stakeholder from exploration to the final product. The four-step certification system CERA 4in1 fulfils the demand for a universal (ESG) system for the mineral raw materials sector and aims to be the leading standard in Europe. It simplifies the current certification landscape and reduces complexity for companies that are trying to integrate sustainable development in their business.

The vision

CERA 4in1 envisions a world where the journey of all mineral raw materials to the consumer is one of integrity, quality, and sustainability. We establish a global standard that seamlessly ensures the reliability of raw materials tracking from exploration to the final product, continuously pushing the boundaries und driving positive change. CERA 4in1 aims to empower enterprises of all sizes and unite all stakeholders through an excellent comprehensive certification system that provides them with tools for a more transparent, responsible, and accountable future of resource use.

The mission

CERA 4in1 will be the first certification system that provides a comprehensive and consistent, universal, and standardized evaluation of environmental, social and economic responsibility along the entire mineral raw material value chain.

Through a systematic approach, CERA 4in1 will streamline the method through which sustainable development is defined and integrated within the entire mineral raw material value chain. CERA 4in1 empowers the final consumer and all preceding stakeholders to make responsible purchasing decisions.

Key Features of CERA 4in1

Value Chain Coverage

CERA 4in1 is the first and so far only certification system that provides tangible proof of environmental, social and economic responsibility along the entire mineral raw material value chain - from exploration until final products.


CERA 4in1 implements solutions for tracking 4in1 certified mineral raw materials along the entire supply chain.


CERA 4in1 targets all minerals worldwide.


The dynamic certification process enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in CERA 4in1. This openness allows companies of all sizes to benefit from CERA 4in1. It increases their operational efficiency, enhances their reputation, and increases their potential for customer acquisition and retention. The inclusive approach reduces the barriers and limitations that can normally impede access to certification programs.

Universal Certification Solution

CERA 4in1 provides a holistic solution for comprehensive certification of all mineral raw materials. It allows existing schemes to coexist by considering their implementation as evidence for CERA 4in1 requirements during certification processes, leading to top-quality standards and benefiting all stakeholders. This streamlines the certification landscape and enables informed choices for companies and end-users.


Every consultant and certification body that meets the necessary requirements can register for CERA 4in1. The involvement of a wide range of consultants and certification bodies ensures that companies have access to a homogenous market and diverse range of expertise.

Competitive Advantage

CERA 4in1 certification supports the protection of investment value, with greater responsibility and transparency in operations minimizing reputational and financial risks.

CERA 4in1 - 4 Standards, 1 System

The objective of MaDiTraCe is to develop the components of the CERA 4in1 certification system that cover the upstream and downstream mineral value chain from exploration to the final product.

Certification Scheme development Start End
The Readiness Standard (CRS) for exploration January 2023 June 2024
The Performance standard (CPS) for downstream June 2023 December 2024
The Chain of Custody Standard (CCS) for up- and downstream January 2023 December 2025
The Final Product Standard (CFS) for final downstream products January 2024 December 2025

Timeline of CERA 4in1 Standards

Timeline Maditrace
  • The Readiness Standard (CRS)
  • The Performance Standard (CPS)
  • The Chain of Custody Standard (CCS)
  • The Final Product Standard (CFS)

The Readiness Standard (CRS)

The CERA 4in1 Readiness Standard covers the (pre-)investment and exploration phase until the operating stage of a project. It defines criteria for the standardized evaluation of exploration projects considering social, environmental, and economic aspects. It further aims to assist investors in identifying projects with an ESG risk assessment in place. Thus, by being CRS certified project owners enhance the attractiveness of their portfolio for potential investors.

The Performance Standard (CPS)

The CPS upstream development has reached completion and the standard is currently entering the market. In the context of MaDiTraCe, the implementation of CPS upstream will be extended to encompass the downstream value chain.

CPS (upstream)

CERA 4in1 Performance Standard for upstream value chain defines the environmental and social responsibility as well as corporate governance (ESG) requirements for a production facility or a group of production facilities that cover the operations of mining, processing, smelting and refining.

CPS (downstream)

The CERA 4in1 Performance Standard for the downstream value chain defines the ESG requirements for a manufacturer and covers the manufacturing of semi-final products.

The Chain of Custody Standard (CCS)

The CERA 4in1 Chain of Custody Standard (CCS) applies to traded commodities: run-of-mine, concentrate, primary and secondary raw materials. It defines criteria for ensuring appropriate management systems for the traceability of responsibly sourced minerals, commodity-specific accounting methods, and chain of custody (CoC) material eligibility. This standard supports the stakeholders in the supply chain to meet the basic legal requirements concerning responsible sourcing and procurement.

The development of the CCS standard commenced with exploring the existing CoC standards to facilitate the harmonization of terminology and content. In the next step it identifies the gaps that hinder the implementation of an effective CoC. However, the aim is to achieve a CoC system. Therefore, digital traceability methods such as distributed ledger technology and intrinsic material fingerprinting are also being investigated in parallel to optimize the traceability aspect.

The Final Product Standard (CFS)

The Final Product Standard (CFS) establishes the criteria necessary to label consumer goods, empowering consumers to make well informed decisions. When a product label is displayed, it indicates that the product specifications meet the standard’s requirements. The CFS defines the necessary certification requirements for the supply chain of the final product enabling consumers to distinguish certified from uncertified products.

The origin of CERA 4in1

From the beginning, TÜV NORD GROUP took the lead in shaping the development of the CERA 4in1 research project, building on and trusting in the expertise of its group entities: TNCERT (as the Certificate Owner) and DMT (as an authority in Mining & Sustainability).

The concept of creating an affordable, universal and standardized certification system was initially conceptualized by TÜV NORD GROUP in 2015. After becoming a research project, CERA 4in1 received funding from EIT RawMaterials for the period of 2017 - 2021. EIT RawMaterials, initiated and funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), is the largest and strongest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide. The finalization of all CERA 4in1 standards is performed as part of the MaDiTraCe project until 2026.


Join now: Certification Pilot Program for Responsible Mineral Exploration & Mine Development

CERA 4in1 Certification System

Contact us

Your email has been sent
Please enter the required fields
A problem occurred, try again later