The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, in collaboration with Ball Corporation and other aluminum industry leaders, has introduced a global standard for sustainable aluminum production that aims to improve environmental, social and governance performance throughout the entire aluminum value chain.
In Ball’s 2014 sustainability report, the company announced its goal to work with ASI and support the development of a global standard that promotes sustainable practices by the end of 2015. To accomplish this goal, Ball and other industry leaders worked with upstream partners, including Constellium, Hydro, Novelis and Rio Tinto Alcan, and alongside 15 nongovernmental organizations throughout 2014 to define sustainability issues relevant to the aluminum value chain.
The resulting ASI Performance Standard addresses issues relevant to the production and sourcing of aluminum — from extraction of bauxite to the producers of commercial and consumer goods and the recycling of pre- and post-consumer aluminum scrap. The Standard focuses on 11 key sustainability aspects: business integrity; policy and management; transparency; material stewardship; greenhouse gas emissions; water; emissions, effluents and waste; biodiversity; human rights; labor rights; and occupational health and safety.
The ASI Performance Standard will be implemented through a third-party certification system. It is expected that certification of compliance can apply at both the company level and the product level. Several end-users have indicated their intent to buy certified aluminum as soon as it is available, Ball says.
Late last year the Aluminum Association released environmental product declarations for various types of aluminum products.
The EPDs provide detailed information on major aspects of a product’s potential environmental impact such as global warming, acidification and eutrophication. The declarations will educate end users of aluminum — from builders to transportation firms to consumer products companies — on the metal’s impact.