Currently, the IPA has three standing committees: the Security Committee (with sub-groups for mining companies and fabricators), the Health, Environment and Safety Committee, and the Sustainability Committee (with focus groups on LCA and sustainability performance/assurance topics).
The Security Committee (SecCom) unites experts from the membership and discusses such topics as the identification of materials by fingerprinting procedures, safety provisions at their plants and operations as well as the management of thefts. The SecCom also provides a platform for interaction with law enforcement bodies on crime trends and modus operandi, pertaining to illegal trafficking of PGM bearing material.
Hence, whenever possible, the Security Committee invites law enforcement bodies to participate at its meetings in order to strengthen public-private-partnerships.
Health and Environment Science Committee
The Health and Environment Science Committee (HESCom) works to advance knowledge and understanding of the potential risks of PGM to human health and the environment to support the risk assessment and safe use of PGM based on sound science. HESCom comprises scientific experts from IPA member companies in disciplines including PGM chemistry, Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene, and Toxicology. HESCom regularly supplements its expertise with that of external global experts in specific fields of relevance to its activities.
Since 2008, HESCom has either directly or with the support of external scientists delivered a number of Environment- and Health-related projects. In particular, in relation to improving understanding of the risks of respiratory allergy in workers exposed to complex halogenated platinum salts (CHPS), and improving the ability to measure and control levels of these chemicals in the workplace. Considerable effort has also been expended on advancing knowledge of the chemical speciation of platinum in the environment, through the development and application of state-of-the-art analytical chemistry techniques, which have demonstrated that levels of CHPS in the environment are extremely low.
The work of the Health and Environment Science Committee is led by different Technical Teams:
- Chemistry & Analytical
- Epidemiology and Health Surveillance
- Workplace Exposure Characterisation and Control
The Sustainability Committee (SusCom) serves as a common platform for exchange on sustainability and best practices in the fields of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. It supports the IPA member companies in acting as responsible players through encouraging sustainability thinking and communicating their activities and ESG performance to stakeholders. Within the SusCom, Members openly dicuss their approach towards sustainability auditing in the supply chain, mapping of activities towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and enhancing environmental performance through life cycle assessments.
In 2013, SusCom concluded the first industry-wide Life Cycle Assessment Study (LCA) of PGMs under the umbrella of the IPA. The LCA data has been made available to a variety of stakeholders which used them for mostly internal assessments.
In 2020, the PGM industry has completed an update of the data set (IPA LCA Study 2017) which features primary and secondary production data from 2017 for platinum, palladium, and rhodium, as well as an application study on autocatalysts.