Product Stewardship Group Report to the Forum

Non-Ferrous Consultative Forum on Sustainable Development

Product Stewardship Working Group

Following the meeting of the Non Ferrous Metals Consultative Forum in Brussels, September 2000, the Product Stewardship Working Group was requested focus on the following tasks:

Develop a Product Stewardship Scheme based on a set of principles covering all stages of metal production though processing, use and recycling;

Facilitate a transfer of best recycling technologies and practices to developing countries.

The Product Working Group is co-chaired by Mr. Frank Almond, Mr. Ivor Kirman and Mr. Gerry Miles. The ICSG Secretariat provides analytical and secretarial support to the Product Stewardship Working Group.

The first full meeting of the Working Group was held in April 2001 in London. In order to achieve concrete results, four sub-groups have been set up: Governance, Information & communication, Recycling and Research & Knowledgebase. Each sub-group aims at developing a set of product stewardship principles and criteria for its particular section.

Product Stewardship Principles and Criteria

Principles and criteria have been extensively discussed within sub-groups and afterwards in the Product Stewardship Working Group as a whole. In September, the sets of principles developed by the sub-groups have been merged and consolidated to a common document including a preamble, a headline principle and a brief introduction to each section. The Product Stewardship Principles and Criteria document (enclosed) has been circulated to other participants in the Forum, seeking their comments. The objective is to table a set of product stewardship principles and criteria that can be reviewed and supported in principle by participants at the meeting of the Non-Ferrous Metals Consultative Forum in Porto (Portugal), 12 13 November 2001.

The set of principles is to be complimented by the following documents:

Case Studies on implementation issues: To assist participants better understand how product stewardship schemes work, the ICSG Secretariat has prepared a case study report on three different product stewardship schemes currently in effect. The report introduces the concept of product stewardship, the role of business and stakeholders, drivers and general requirements for product stewardship schemes.

Paper on implementation issues: While the Working Group has developed principles and criteria, there remain a number of issues that need to be addressed, including implementation issues. Frank Almond and the Secretariat developed an outline of key issues identified so far in the Working Group's discussions. The objective of the issues paper is not to present answers or solutions, but rather to be a kind of agenda setting document for pointing out major challenges and stimulating discussion in the Porto Forum and afterwards.

Facilitating the Transfer of Best Recycling Technologies and Practices to Developing Countries

One of the action plan items arising from consultations held so far within the context of the Non-Ferrous Metals Consultative Forum is the promotion of environmentally sound metals recycling.

It has been suggested that intergovernmental development banks, such as the World Bank, may be able to provide a mechanism to provide loans for such purposes. In concept, a fund would be set up by the lending institution that could be accessed by developing nations. The loans would be made and paid back through the increased production facilitated by the new technology.

A brief report is attached.

International Copper Study Group International Lead and Zinc Study Group International Nickel Study Group