SCS Certification Process: The RMS Framework
SCS certification is an achievement that is important to us and to the industry as a whole. This series takes a look at the steps involved in gaining SCS certification and breaks them down in layman’s terms.
As we’ve mentioned previously in this blog, David H. Fell & Company is proud to be SCS certified for recycled gold, silver, and platinum. We’ve talked about the importance of this commitment to using recycled materials. Now, we’d like to talk a little about the process of gaining SCS certification. Certification is a long and difficult process, but it’s worth it to ensure we are doing our part to conserve limited natural resources.
Governments, non-governmental organizations, and private enterprise have all responded to citizen and consumer demand for improved environmental protections. In our industry, one of the best ways to ensure responsible use of limited resources is to use recycled metals. Metals are a nonrenewable resource, and anything we can do to keep metals out of landfills and in the supply chain will help conserve that precious resource and conserve the energy expended in mining and transportation.
Oversight and Regulations
But in the absence of oversight and regulation, anyone can make claims about recycled materials, environmental sustainability, carbon neutrality, fair labor practices, and so forth. How do we know who is telling the truth and who is fudging the numbers? If a company claims to use some percentage of recycled materials, how do we know what exactly they mean by “recycled”? That’s where the RMS Framework comes in. The Recycled Materials Standard was developed by nonprofits GreenBlue and NSF International in order to provide a voluntary standard for labeling products that contain recycled material. The RMS Framework provides the guidelines for RMS certification.
The Framework was developed according to scientific and engineering principles to encourage innovation in improving the environmental sustainability of the recycling industry. It applies to industries working with plastics, glass, and paper as well as with metals, and each specific material must meet its own certification standards (which is why we are certified in gold, silver, and platinum specifically). It outlines the types of recycled material eligible and what organizations must do to receive certification.
Beyond recycled status (post-consumer, post-industrial, and recycled) and material group (plastic, metal, etc.), the Framework further delineates material type (i.e. PET or LDPE, in the case of plastic), and certified organizations must keep records on each type as well as where the material came from and where it will go. Certified organizations will undergo periodic audits to determine whether an organization continues to adhere to the standards laid out in the framework.
The RMS certification standard has been certified by SCS Global Services, an organization that partners with governments and NGOs to provide third-party certification for environmental and sustainability claims. SCS Global Services has a 38-year history of independently verifying food safety, laboratory safety, and environmental claims. Organizations like this exist to give some backing to a company’s claims by putting forth a rigorous series of guidelines that must be followed in order to receive certification. We will take a look at the first step in the process, submitting an application, in our next blog.