Global standards and certification organization The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) announced yesterday the first-ever Performance Standard certification under its new certification process.
According to the company, the very first certification under the ASI’s new standards went to two Rio Tinto smelters – one in the Canadian province of Québec, and the other in the Northern Territory, Australia.
ASI’s certification program covers the entire production process, from bauxite mining through to aluminium recycling. The new certification program joins ASI’s Performance Standard, which evaluates greenhouse gases, waste management, material stewardship, biodiversity, and human rights implications for the aluminium product in question, and the Chain of Custody standard, which ties responsible production with responsible sourcing.
With the certification award in question, charter ASI member Rio Tinto makes history as the first firm to achieve ASI Certification. In addition, the audit, which was an independent investigation carried out by a third-party firm, was executed by BNQ (Bureau de Normalisation du Québec), the first ASI Accredited Auditing Firm. This certification covers smelters who combined for 1.1 million metric tons of primary aluminium and 11 million metric tons of mined bauxite.
ASI’s CEO Fiona Solomon said that the facilities’ certification is expected to be the first of many this year.
“ASI is delighted to be recognising these historic first ASI certifications achieved by Rio Tinto. They demonstrate that ASI’s program has successfully transitioned to implementation. The ultimate value of ASI lies in broad uptake throughout the aluminium value chain, and we are poised to increase momentum in both membership growth and certifications during 2018.
“We congratulate Rio Tinto and BNQ for their enthusiasm, diligence and commitment during the Standards’ development phase, as well as their willingness to be a trailblazer as the first member to navigate the process.”
Rio Tinto Aluminium’s CEO Alf Barrios said that environmentally-responsible aluminium production is likely to become ever more important to consumers in the coming years.
“Rio Tinto is proud to take this pioneering step as a global leader in responsible aluminium production.
“Aluminium has a key role to play in driving human progress, as a material of choice to reduce carbon and increase recycling across a wide range of end products from food packaging to buildings, planes, cars, mobile phones and computers.
“We expect leadership in responsible production will become increasingly important for our customers and the consumers who buy their products.”
The ASI is a worldwide organization dedicated to setting industrial standards and certifications in the aluminium industry. The association attempts to bring together the various stakeholders in the aluminium industry in order to achieve objectives including sustainable production methods, material chain-of-custody procedures, recycling, social impacts related to aluminium production, and production standards.