Photo by Rick Kimpel (Creative Commons)
The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), led by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and key aluminum industry representatives, is working to set forth a global standard for sustainable aluminum production.
The ASI Standard will define environmental and social criteria that can be applied to all stages of aluminum production and transformation. Among other things, it will propose thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions for the industry and best practice for treating aluminum residue. Other critical issues to the industry that are addressed included energy, biodiversity and land management, pollution, resource efficiency, recycling, labour rights, indigenous rights, and transparency. The ASI Standard will be supported by a Chain of Custody system, which will aim to assure the provenance of aluminum.
“The ASI provides a full supply chain approach to resolving some of the sustainability issues facing producers and users of aluminum,” 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 aluminum.”
70 criteria were proposed by representatives from 14 companies that are part of the initiative and were reviewed by delegates from 13 civil society organizations with expertise in issues relevant to the aluminum industry. The criteria are now open for public consultation.
“Bringing together so many different perspectives is an incredibly enriching experience,” said 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 aluminum industry. We encourage everyone who has the relevant expertise to comment on the proposed criteria.”
The ASI is currently supported by 14 companies including aluminum 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 criteria will be open for consultation until March 29, 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.
Interested parties may participate in the consultation process at: http://aluminium-stewardship.org/the-process/get-involved/