Grant Erskine – Scientifically verifying the origin of raw materials is critical to the delivery of ESG

All ESG claims first start at the provenance (i.e the origin) of the raw materials that are subsequently processed and valued added into the products we all consume on a daily basis.

The provenance of raw materials are often situated in the most rural and isolated areas of both developed and developing nations. It is this isolation and lack of visibility to the western consumer that puts the communities that live in these areas at the greatest exposure to the risks that ESG standards have been designed to fix – child slavery, unsustainable mining practices that pollute rivers and populations under the control of militia groups. If we are unable to deliver true ESG standards to the mining operations within these rural communities, then any subsequent ESG claim by the downstream value chain is pointless and just empty virtue signalling.

Identifying all upstream sources of raw materials, auditing these sources to an ESG standard and then verifying the provenance of raw materials in supply chains back to these upstream sources are the three critical steps required to actually deliver the ESG standards that will provide the needed transparency to supply chains and support the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Our presentation will focus on the 3rd critical element within the delivery of ESG standards – scientifically verifying the provenance of raw materials back to ESG audited mines.

Source Certain pioneered scientific based technology that verifies the provenance of raw and processed materials. Its first application was known as ‘Gold Fingerprinting’ and we now embed this technology within a number of emerging global ESG programs to ensure the products carrying the ESG claims originate from the sources in which the ESG standards are being met. The scientific based technology is a more cost effective, accurate and independent validation of chain of custody information than traditional paper based methods and the presentation will provide case studies on the emerging global ESG based programs that are now adopting this integral tool within the ESG toolkit.


Grant Erskine is the CCO of Source Certain International and a passionate advocate that the greatest social challenges of the 21st century will be overcome through a combination of pragmatism and innovation that create an economic advantage for businesses doing good.

Source Certain pioneered an established scientific process that forensically determines the provenance of food and non food products including gold, diamonds and rare earths. The first major application of this technology was through our investigative support for law enforcement agencies solving stolen gold and diamond cases in the 1990s before being commercially adopted across the agriculture, food and beverage industries.