Global standard for sustainability in the aluminium industry open for public consultation

03 February 2014 | News story

Industry representatives including Nespresso, Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Tetra Pak have put forward criteria for a global standard for sustainable aluminium production. The standard is part of the IUCN-led Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), whose aim is to foster responsible environmental, social and governance performance throughout the entire aluminium value chain.

The 70 criteria were proposed by representatives from 14 companies that are part of the initiative and reviewed by delegates from 13 civil society organizations with expertise in issues relevant to the aluminium industry. The criteria are now open for public consultation.

“Bringing together so many different perspectives is an incredibly enriching experience,” says Giulia Carbone, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme. “This first proposal clearly shows that despite different opinions, everybody agrees that there is the need to develop a common language to promote and further strengthen sustainability in the aluminium industry. We encourage everyone who has the relevant expertise to comment on the proposed criteria.”

The standard will apply to all stages of aluminium production and transformation. Among other things, it will propose thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions for the industry and best practice for treating aluminum residue. It will also address other issues critical to the industry including energy, biodiversity and land management, pollution, resource efficiency, recycling, labour rights, indigenous rights and transparency.

“The ASI provides a full supply chain approach to resolving some of the sustainability issues facing producers and users of aluminium,” says Pippa Howard of Fauna & Flora International, co-chair of the standard-setting process. “As part of the non-industry group, Fauna & Flora International supports the development of a standard that commits to the integration of a broad set of issues into the sourcing and production of aluminium.”

The ASI is currently supported by 14 companies including aluminium primary producers and transformers (Aleris, Constellium, Hydro, Novelis and Rio Tinto Alcan), convertors (AMAG/Constantia Flexibles, AMCOR Flexibles, Ball Corporation, Rexam and Tetra Pak) and commercial and consumer goods suppliers (AUDI, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Nespresso). As the coordinating body for the ASI, IUCN is responsible for the design and implementation of the standard-setting process and for ensuring that the process is transparent, inclusive and effective.

“The ASI is a good, neutral platform to discuss concerns and solutions along the aluminium value chain between industry, customers and non-industry stakeholders,” says Jostein Soreide of the global supplier of aluminium Hydro and co-chair of the standard-setting process. “Hydro sees this as a natural extension of the work Hydro has laid down over the years to improve our environmental and social performance.”

Aluminium is one of the most widely used metals in the packaging, transport, construction and electrical sectors. It is in great demand for its unique qualities such as durability, strength and ability to be recycled forever without loss of quality.

Notes to editors

Interested parties are invited to participate in the consultation process at: http://aluminium-stewardship.org/the-process/get-involved/

The criteria will be open for consultation until 29 March 2014. The Standard Setting Group which brings together the 14 ASI companies and the 13 civil society organizations will develop a new version of the Standard based on the comments received.

Civil society members of the SSG include As You Sow, Cleaner Production Center South Africa, Cleaner Production Center India, Ecofys, EMPA – Materials Science and Technology, Fauna & Flora International, Forest Peoples Programme, IndustriAll, Fundación Para la Promoción de Conocimientos Indigenas/Asociación Indigena Ambiental en Panama, IUCN, Social Accountability International, Transparency International and WWF.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations, m +41 79 856 76 26, ewa.magiera@iucn.org