Rio Tinto, Australia, and Marubeni Corporation, Japan, are collaborating to ensure a sustainable and reliable supply of Rio Tinto’s aluminum products to Japanese downstream manufacturers. The companies have signed a first sale agreement, under which Rio Tinto will provide RenewAl™ high purity aluminum to a major Japanese motorcycle manufacturer committed to reducing carbon emissions throughout its supply chains and manufacturing process. The aluminum will be supplied from Rio Tinto’s New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS), which is pictured above.
The agreement, the first of its kind in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, is focused on providing the downstream industry with a simple, integrated way to achieve environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) related goals and requirements. This includes taking actions, such as reducing carbon footprints, disclosing lifecycle assessment (LCA), and sourcing responsibly. It will also provide strong long-term security of supply at a time of growing supply-chain risks.
As part of the agreement, the two companies will combine their sustainability capabilities to support an environmentally friendly supply chain. Rio Tinto will contribute its suite of responsible aluminum products — which include RenewAl, the industry’s first certified low carbon aluminum to be certified by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) — and its digital traceability platform, START. Marubeni will contribute its extensive trading network, commercial capability, and carbon credit mechanism, Neutr-Al™, which will be offered as part of the collaboration.
“We are excited to be a part of the first producer-trading house marketing partnership focused on delivering sustainability throughout the aluminum supply chain,” said Tolga Egrilmezer, head of Sales & Marketing, Rio Tinto. “Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and be assured that they have been produced responsibly and sustainably. By working with partners like Marubeni, we can help our downstream customers in the aluminum value chain meet this growing consumer demand, while at the same time advancing our commitment to decarbonize our product value chains.”
In 2016, Rio Tinto launched RenewAl™, the world’s first certified low CO2 primary aluminum brand. It has helped to pioneer responsible production standards for the global industry as a founding member of the ASI, becoming the first producer to offer ASI aluminum in 2018.
In 2021, Rio Tinto launched START, a new standard in transparency, traceability and provenance. Using secure blockchain technology, START provides key environmental, social and governance (ESG) information about how Rio Tinto products were made. It covers 14 criteria: global warming potential, water management, waste management, energy sources, air emissions, biodiversity, land management, recycled content, safety performance, community investment, third-party assessments, ethics and compliance training, diversity in leadership and a whistleblower program. Through START, Rio Tinto believes that it empowers its customers and their customers, to make a more sustainable choice.
Marubeni Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries use their broad business networks, both within Japan and overseas, to import and export (including third country trading), as well as conduct domestic business across wide-ranging fields. These include metals and mineral resources (including in aluminum), lifestyle, ICT business and logistics, food, agri business, forest products, chemicals, energy, power, infrastructure projects, aerospace and ships, etc.
Neutr-Al™ is a carbon credit mechanism Marubeni offers to customers where it is applicable. It helps offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the aluminum supply chain including transportation activities. Such carbon credits are created by GHG reduction and/or absorption activities in Japan and abroad.