Rio Tinto is the first company in the world to receive certification under the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), the highest internationally recognized standard for robust environmental, social and governance practices across the aluminium lifecycle of production, use and recycling.
“We expect responsible aluminium production will become increasingly important for our customers and the consumers who buy their products,” said Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios. “Rio Tinto is proud to take this pioneering step as the first company to achieve ASI certification, which continues our industry leadership on sustainability and responsible production as we work closely with customers to meet their needs. We launched the first certified low carbon aluminium, RenewAl™, in 2016 and produce some of the best quality, lowest carbon footprint aluminium in the world at our Canadian smelters.”
By using ASI certified aluminium, manufacturers and end users will now be able to demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable supply chain.
“Responsibly produced aluminium has a key role to play in driving human progress,” said Barrios, “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.”
The certification follows an independent third party audit and covers a range of operations across the aluminium value chain, from bauxite mining to alumina refining, aluminium smelting, the creation of value added products, transformation and recycling, and associated activities.
Rio Tinto’s five aluminium smelters, the Vaudreuil refinery, casting and spent potlining treatment centres and associated infrastructure such as power, port and railway facilities in Quebec, have been certified, along with the Gove bauxite mine in Australia. Rio Tinto will now work with the ASI on audits and certifications for other sites in its global aluminium business.
“As a founding member of the ASI, Rio Tinto has helped to drive responsible production standards for the aluminium industry alongside customers and a broad range of stakeholders,” said Rio Tinto Aluminium vice president sales and marketing and ASI Board member Tolga Egrilmezer. “We expect to see growing demand for ASI certified products from end users and customers seeking to demonstrate a responsible supply chain.”
“Rio Tinto and Nespresso were early to recognize the need for a standard for responsible aluminium, so we are delighted to see Rio Tinto becoming the first company in the world to sell ASI-certified aluminium,” said Chair of the ASI Board and Nespresso head of legal and corporate affairs Daniel Weston. “The development of the ASI has taken many years of commitment and hard work by many parties and this first certification is an important milestone, pioneering the adoption of these new standards and leading the way for the entire industry.
“At Nespresso, we are looking forward to sourcing ASI-certified aluminium as additional proof of our deep-seated commitment to sustainability,” added Weston.
“Being a pioneer in automotive lightweight construction, aluminum has always been of great importance for Audi. With the transition to electric cars, it will gain even higher relevance,” said Audi AG senior manager strategic corporate planning and sustainability Josef Schön. “To ensure that aluminum is produced in the most sustainable way, we engaged ourselves in ASI from the beginning. Audi is therefore very pleased the first upstream ASI members like Rio Tinto are now implementing the standard in the real world. We are sure this will encourage others to follow, having a measurable social and environmental impact and creating further momentum for sustainability.”