SCS Certification: Tracking the Process
SCS certification is an achievement that is important to us and to the industry as a whole. This is the last of our series that has looked at the steps involved in gaining SCS certification and broke them down in layman’s terms. To see the whole series, go here.
Applying for and gaining SCS certification was itself a long and difficult journey, but one that is necessary if we are going to help create a more ethical and sustainable industry. But the work didn’t stop once we gained certification. The RMS Framework is a standard to be maintained, and to do so, we put a number of new systems in place to ensure that our entire team was working together to comply with the regulations set out for us in the framework so that when the time came for an audit, we would retain certification.
Staying on Track
Now, it’s all about just continuing to follow our procedures: physically segregating the recycled materials we work with, learning and properly applying new item codes for recycled material and chain of custody, getting signed affidavits from our vendors, and keeping documents on file for our next audit. Needless to say, it has changed our day-to-day operations quite drastically. One of these new day-to-day procedures is packaging. Our recycled products now carry the RMS label for 100% recycled material.
The RMS Framework is a 22-page document outlining all of the policies and procedures an organization must adhere to in order to qualify for and maintain SCS Certification. There is also another 20-page document covering packaging regulations. It tells us what products we can use the RMS label on, how it can be displayed, and what sorts of claims we can make with it. The packaging has been redesigned to promote not only our recycled products but RMS as well. The text on the RMS label also has to make specific, substantiated claims about the percentage of recycled material used in the product. In our case, it would be 100% fine gold, fine silver, sterling silver, or platinum.
Striving to Learn
We’ve had to take on a little extra work—and incur some extra costs—as we’ve strived to learn the new procedures, reorganize our workspace, optimize our new workflow, and educate both vendors and customers. We just focus on what it’s all for. The illicit trade of metals provides support for both drug trafficking and human trafficking, and it supports illegal mining activities, which are responsible for both environmental destruction and human rights violations. In the end, it’s all worth it if it means we’re doing our part in starving these terrible activities of funding.