There are many uses for aluminum: It is used in consumers goods, for transportation and even for door knobs. Given the popularity of aluminum, it makes sense to have a comprehensive standard. That is exactly what the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) created. The goal of the ASI Performance Standard is to improve the industry’s performance through its value chain, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It took a year to develop the standards, which will be implemented through a third-party certification system. It focuses on 11 key issues: business integrity, policy and management, transparency, material stewardship, greenhouse gas emissions, emissions, effluents and waste, water, biodiversity, human rights, labor rights, and occupational health and safety. Certain end-users of aluminum, such as Audi, BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover and Nestlé Nespresso SA, said they would purchase certified aluminum.
There are 28 organizations that worked to define the criteria in the sustainability issues relevant to the aluminum value chain. The organizations include BMW Group, Hydro, Nestlé Nespresso SA and Rio Tinto Alcan, Fauna & Flora International, Forest Peoples Programme, IndustriALL Global Union and the International Union of Conservation and Nature (IUCN).
Companies must account for -- and publicly disclose -- their GHG emissions and energy use by source every year. In addition, they must publish emissions reduction targets and implement a plan to meet those targets.
Within labor rights falls bans on child labor and forced or compulsory labor. Companies are required to respect the right of workers to collective bargaining. Workers must be allowed to “associate freely, join or not join labour unions, seek representation and join workers’ councils,” according to the standard.
Image credit: roadsidepictures
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.