Leaders from the aluminium sector including Rexam, the global beverage can maker, have unveiled a new comprehensive standard that aims to improve the industry’s environmental, social and governance performance throughout its entire value chain, including plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
After a year-long development effort, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard will address issues relevant to the production and stewardship of aluminium, from extraction of bauxite to the producers of commercial and consumer goods and the recycling of pre- and post-consumer aluminium scrap. The standard focuses on eleven key issues: business integrity, policy and management, transparency, material stewardship, greenhouse gas emissions, emissions, effluents and waste, water, biodiversity, human rights, labour rights, and occupational health and safety.
Rexam has been working together with its upstream partners such as Constellium, Hydro, Novelis and Rio Tinto Alcan and alongside 15 NGOs to define the principles and criteria across all the sustainability issues relevant to the aluminium value chain.
“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. Rexam produces over 55 billion aluminium beverage cans per 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,” said John Revess, Rexam’s group sustainability director.
The Standard will be implemented through a third party certification system involving all industry players along the aluminium value chain. End-users, such as Audi, BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover and Nestlé Nespresso SA, have already indicated their intention to buy certified aluminium as soon as it is available and Rexam is encouraging beverage customers to do the same.
“The aluminium industry is committed to maximizing the value that its products and activities generate, while minimizing their impacts. Working together with industry representatives of the aluminium value chain and of civil society to improve the industry’s performance and make it more sustainable is a win-win for everyone,” said Jostein Soreide, Manager Sustainability and LCA of Hydro, and co-chair of the ASI Standard Setting Group.
To enable product specific claims, a ‘Chain of Custody Standard’ has also been developed. It will be released in 2015. The plan is to start work on implementation pilots for both the ‘Performance Standard’ and the ‘Chain of Custody Standard’ during 2015 with a view to certifying the first products in market from 2018.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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