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New standard for aluminium sector

A new standard for the aluminium industry, intended to improve its environmental, social and governance performance, has been launched.

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard relates to the production and stewardship of aluminium throughout its entire value chain. It covers the extraction of bauxite to the production of commercial and consumer goods, as well as the recycling of aluminium scrap.

Global beverage can maker Rexam has been working with its industry partners such as Constellium, Hydro, Novelis and Rio Tinto Alcan, alongside 15 NGOs, to define the principles and criteria across all the sustainability issues in the aluminium value chain.

The standard will be implemented through a third party certification system involving all industry players. 

Rexam said that end-users, such as Audi, BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover and Nestlé Nespresso, have already indicated their intention to buy certified aluminium as soon as it is available.

To enable product-specific claims, a Chain of Custody Standard has also been developed, which will be released in 2015.

Work on implementation pilots for both standards will start during 2015, with a view to certifying the first products in the marketplace from 2018.

The standard focuses on 11 key issues:

  • business integrity
  • policy and management
  • transparency
  • material stewardship
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • emissions
  • effluents and waste
  • water
  • biodiversity
  • human rights
  • labour rights
  • occupational health and safety

John Revess, Rexam group sustainability director, said: “Rexam first got involved in ASI back in 2012, and we are delighted to have played our role in developing this landmark sustainability standard for aluminium.

“We produce more than 55 billion aluminium beverage cans a year, and this standard will allow us to provide independent, credible and verifiable information to customers across all stages of the aluminium value chain. No other packaging material is able to demonstrate this level of sustainability assessment.”

The ASI is currently supported by 14 companies.

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