ASI

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) was initiated in 2012 to foster greater sustainability and transparency throughout our industry. Spearheaded by several industry players, the ASI is a non-profit initiative that seeks to mobilise a broad base of stakeholders to establish and promote responsible leading practices, across the aluminium value chain, in business ethics; environmental performance; and social performance.

ASI Members: Aleris, Amcor Flexibles, AMAG/ Constantia Flexibles, Audi, BMW Group, Constellium, Hydro, Nespresso, Novelis, Rexam, Rio Tinto Alcan, and Tetra Pak

The challenge and the opportunity

Sustainable practices are key to the long-term success of any industry. The aluminium industry is no exception. Whether you are an end-user of aluminium products or operate upstream or downstream in the industry, you know first-hand how versatile, lightweight and recyclable aluminium is. The aluminium industry is committed to maximising the value that its product and activities generate while minimising their negative impacts. Working together to improve the industry’s performance, full transparency is of utmost importance for all stakeholders and to enhance the reputation of the industry and its long-term license to operate, grow and sell.

NEW: The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) unveils global standard for sustainability

16 December 2014 -- Leaders from the aluminium value chain today unveiled a new comprehensive standard that aims to improve the industry’s environmental, social and governance performance throughout its entire value chain, including plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Members of the ASI Standard Setting Group included representatives of the aluminium value chain and civil society, namely: Aleris; AMAG/Constantia Flexibles; Amcor Flexibles; As You Sow; Audi; Ball Corporation; BMW Group; CII – Godrej Green Business Centre, India; Cleaner Production Center South Africa; Constellium; Ecofys; EMPA – Materials Science and Technology; Fauna and Flora International; Forest Peoples Programme; Fundacion Para la Promoción de Conocimientos Indigenas/Asociación Indigena Ambiental en Panama; Hydro; Igora; IndustriAll Global Union; IUCN; Jaguar Land Rover; Nestlé Nespresso SA; Novelis; Partners Global; Rexam; Rio Tinto Alcan; Tetra Pak; Transparency International and WWF. IUCN also coordinated the standard-setting process.

Following face-to-face meetings and two rounds of public consultations, in December 2014, the Standard Setting Group announced a new Performanance Standard, which was approved in accordance with the ASI Voting Mechanism, the “ASI Performance Standard Version 1 (Part I: Principles and Criteria)”.

The ASI Performance Standard aims to address issues relevant to the production and stewardship of aluminium, from extraction of bauxite to the producers of commercial and consumer goods to the recycling of pre- and post-consumer aluminium scrap. The standard focuses on eleven key issues: business integrity, policy and management, transparency, material stewardship, greenhouse gas emissions, emissions, effluents and waste, water, biodiversity, human rights, labour rights, and occupational health and safety.

The Standard will be implemented through a third party certification system involving all industry players along the aluminium value chain. End-users, such as Audi, BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover and Nestlé Nespresso SA, have already indicated their intention to buy certified aluminium as soon as it is available.

“The aluminium industry is committed to maximizing the value that its products and activities generate, while minimizing their negative impacts. Working together with industry representatives of the aluminium value chain and of civil society to improve the industry’s performance and make it more sustainable is a win-win for everyone,” said Jostein Soreide, from Hydro, also Co-Chair of the ASI Standard Setting Group. “We, the companies behind the ASI Standard, expect now to bring more peers on board.”

The ASI Performance Standard will enable players in the aluminium value chain to provide independent, credible and verifiable information regarding their environmental, social and governance performance; and, thus, make it possible to identify suppliers and materials throughout the supply chain based on their sustainability performance. To enable product specific claims, a Chain of Custody Standard has also been developed. It will be released in early 2015.

Note: According to the Voting Rules, the vote will be deemed to have passed by a two thirds majority. With the exception of WWF and Transparency International, the “ASI Performance Standard Version 1 (Part I: Principles and Criteria)” has been approved by all members of the Standard Setting Group.

For more information, visit the ASI website or contact Giulia Carbone (giulia.carbone@iucn.org), Deputy Director, Business and Biodiversity Programme, IUCN.  

Background: What is the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative?

End of 2009, a global group of aluminium industry stakeholders joined forces to assess industry-specific sustainability challenges, opportunities and needs.

Initial discussions were based on the belief that:

  • Aluminium is part of the solution for a sustainable future. It is a unique metal; strong, durable, flexible, impermeable, light-weight and recyclable, to name a few properties.
  • The aluminium industry has a vital role to play in successfully addressing the sustainability challenge. To do its part, the industry needs to minimize environmental, social and economic negatives and maximize the positives across the value chain - delivering a clear net benefit to society.

The resulting report from this assessment —the Responsible Aluminium Scoping Phase Main Report, Track Record  — summarises the industry sustainability-related risks and opportunities. It also underscores the need for a transparent worldwide multi-stakeholder approach to complement existing sustainability programmes throughout the aluminium industry. Stakeholders include the aluminium industry, civil society, policy makers, retailers and end-users of aluminium products. This report gave birth to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI).
 

What is the main objective of the Initiative?

The ASI’s main objective is to develop a Responsible Aluminium Standard (Standard) that defines the practices required to drive ethical, environmental and social performance standards and improvements across the aluminium value chain. Using a transparent multi-stakeholder consultation process, the ASI will build on the valuable work completed by organisations such as the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the Aluminium Association (AA) to develop a single unifying Standard. This Standard will set excellence goals and push better performance across the industry.

The ASI’s founding members view the Standard as a tool for improving the overall sustainability performance and reputation of the aluminium industry. Specifically, the Standard will:

  • enable the aluminium industry to demonstrate responsibility and provide independent, credible and verifiable information regarding practices and improvements in ethical, social and environmental performance.
  • reinforce and promote consumer and stakeholder confidence in aluminium products.
  • enable the identification of suppliers and materials throughout the supply chain based on both their sustainability and technical performance.
  • reduce reputational risks concerning aluminium and aluminium industry players.
  • address the expressed needs by end-use customers and consumers for traceability of aluminium throughout the value chain.

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative has been coordinated by IUCN's Global Business and Biodiversity Programme.  The new ASI Performance Standard Version 1 was released on 16 December 2014.

See the press release. 
 

Read more about the presentation of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative on the ASI website at: www.aluminium-stewardship.org/media

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Latest news: ASI unveils global standard for sustainability