Recycling Today covers Orbex launch

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May 23, 2023

Recycling Today covers the launch of Orbex.

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Orbex, which operates out of Chicago and London, has launched as a marketplace for globally recognized, authenticated recycled metals.

According to a news release from Orbex, the company is developing authentication standards and processes as part of an open-source initiative with Oasis Open, which is an independent nonprofit standards body based in Woburn, Massachusetts. Oasis Open previously developed other standards, such as electronic invoicing and an open interface that allows organizations to integrate biodiversity data into software systems.

In partnership with Orbex, Oasis Open will develop authentication standards and processes for recycled metals to help empower businesses to make responsible sourcing decisions and enhance their environmental, social and governance (ESG) emissions reporting as well as substantiate environmental credentials to stakeholders.

The company plans to develop a globally recognized standardized authentication process to verify the origin of recycled metals and track their use through the supply chain. Orbex says it hopes this will enable businesses to accurately account for their environmental impact in ESG reporting as well as enhance the value of recycled commodities.

SA Recycling, Orange, California, also serves as a sponsor of Orbex. Thomas Buchar, CEO of Orbex, says SA Recycling acts as an advisor to Orbex as the new company builds the recycled metals marketplace. The recycler also will provide Orbex with scrap for the marketplace.

“We have access to other supplies,” Buchar tells Recycling Today. “[But SA Recycling is] an early adopter of recognizing that standards need to be set for these materials. … SA realized downstream, the brands who end up with recycled material in their products have to report it in some way. There has to be a visible solution to measure [scrap] in the supply chain. So, we’re bringing supply chain integrity … proof of provenance that this originated with an authenticated recycling commodity originator and you can follow that through the supply chain. For instance, if Apple makes a claim that 60 percent of the metals on a phone are recycled, using Orbex they can have that supply chain integrity.”

Orbex says it applies a certification of origination for all secondary metal, which is transacted on the marketplace, detailing proof of provenance and origin. According to Orbex, the new company has secured a large supply of recovered ferrous metal in North America as well as access to 2 percent of the global recycled aluminum and copper markets.

The company adds that it hopes the new marketplace and the standards developed with it will have a tangible impact on work toward carbon goals, supply chain greenhouse gas protocol regulatory frameworks—particularly around Scope 3 frameworks—as well as international regulatory compliance.

“Orbex is driving much-needed change by finally bringing globally recognized standardization to an enormous market, which until now has sat untapped and unimpeded,” Buchar says. “We are proud not only to be promoting sustainable practices in sectors which are traditionally hard to abate while offering the unique opportunity to capitalize on increased demand for environmental commodities, ensure supply chain integrity and assist multinationals in their transition to a circular economy.”

Orbex features a team of industry professionals, including Antonella Amadi, chief development officer, who formerly served as head of global development at the London Stock Exchange Group; Tyler Adams, a board advisor at Orbex and chief operating officer at SA Recycling; and Roseann Palmieri of Sandhill East Advisors.

While Orbex is launching the marketplace focused on recycled metals, including steel and various grades of stainless steel, aluminum and copper, Buchar says he hopes to expand the marketplace to other recycled materials in the future, such as plastics.

“We saw a lot of environmental markets around nature-based commodities, but we didn’t see anyone taking the helm to provide these same solutions for earth-based environmental commodities, like recycled metals. So, we’re focusing on that,” Buchar says. “I can’t emphasize enough how we’re hoping to help consumers and the market by eliminating greenwashing, making it easier to make environmental claims, ensure confidence [and] bring brand accountability to brands for them to make those claims. Supply chain integrity is everything, and this is an evolving process that will continue to gain momentum.”

“We saw a lot of environmental markets around nature-based commodities, but we didn’t see anyone taking the helm to provide these same solutions for earth-based environmental commodities, like recycled metals. So, we’re focusing on that,”
Thomas Buchar
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