ALUMINIUM 2018 INSIGHTS
Aluminium Stewardship Initiative: Standards for the aluminium value chain
Dr Fiona Solomon
Interview with Dr Fiona Solomon, CEO of ASI
Maximizing the contribution of aluminium to a sustainable society – that is the vision of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative. The ASI Performance and Chain of Custody Standards have been developed and designed to enable the aluminium industry to demonstrate responsibility. Dr Fiona Solomon, CEO of ASI, explains the mission.
How is the interest around certified aluminium and ASI’s certification program developing?
We were excited to see the first Performance Standard Certifications come through less than six months after the launch. The focus on responsible production and responsible sourcing continues to grow across a range of raw materials, as downstream users are seeking to better understand and manage supply chain risks relating to environmental and social issues. We are also seeing a continued growth in new members joining ASI – new downstream users wanting to formalise their commitment to a more responsible, more sustainable sourcing of aluminium, as well as from upstream producers, including from China – all of our members are motivated and engaged in the program’s implementation and further development.
Why it is important for the industry to demonstrate sustainability?
Aluminium is a very important metal to support transitions to greener economies, but at the same time it also needs to address sustainability issues in its own supply chains. Improving recycling, better management of large-volume wastes, and improved engagement with Indigenous peoples around mining and primary production are some of the important areas where the industry can lift performance. The industry should be proactive throughout the value chain to demonstrate why it is a material of choice.
Which are the core elements of ASI’s certification program?
ASI’s Standards set out the high level expectations for members, with supporting Guidance providing advice on how these can be implemented in diverse contexts. The Certification process is set out in ASI’s Assurance Manual, explaining the role of members in preparing for, and auditors in carrying out, independent audits. ASI provides support for these processes via educationAl, our learning platform, and elementAl, our online assurance platform. Our goal is to maximise uptake of ASI and help companies reach their goals.
How many companies have received a certification to date?
As of July 6, 2018, two ASI members have received certification under the ASI Performance Standard. Rio Tinto was the first member to be certified and their certification scope includes a bauxite mining operation in Australia, alumina smelting, aluminium refining, casting, semi-fabrication and remelting operations in Canada. Constantia Flexibles, the second Performance Standard certified member, has certified a rolling operation in Austria. We anticipate more members to become certified to both the Performance Standard and Chain of Custody Standard in 2018.
What are the topics of ASI’s presentation at ALUMINIUM 2018?
We plan to cover ASI’s progress since ALUMINIUM 2016 -- our certification program was still in development at that time -- and our plans looking ahead.
A key challenge for ASI is to support broad implementation and be able to evaluate its impact in diverse areas such as biodiversity management, human rights, waste management, and material stewardship. So we will include a focus on ASI’s ‘Theory of Change’ and how we plan to monitor and evaluate our impacts as a certification program, identifying key indicators for success.
The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) is a global, multi-stakeholder, non-profit standards setting and certification organisation. It works toward responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium following an entire value chain approach. To this end, ASI launched its Performance Standard and Chain of Custody Standard in December 2017.
ASI’s 60+ members include leading civil society organisations, companies with activities in bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting, semi-fabrication, product and component manufacturing, as well as consumer and commercial goods, including the automotive industry, construction and packaging, as well as industry associations and other supporters.
ASI continues to seek engagement with commercial entities and stakeholders in the aluminium value chain from across the world. Organisations interested in membership are encouraged to learn more about our membership structure and how to join.
More information: www.aluminium-stewardship.org