Business and Biodiversity

Aluminium Stewardship Initiative

IUCN led a multi-stakeholder process that created the first-ever Performance Standard for the aluminium industry.

In 2012, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) was launched to foster greater sustainability and transparency throughout the aluminium industry. Two years later, in December 2014, business and non-governement leaders unveiled a new comprehensive standard to improve the industry’s environmental, social and governance performance throughout its entire value chain, including plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

What was IUCN's role?

From 2012 to 2014, IUCN led the ASI standard setting process. IUCN’s role was then to ensure that the standard-setting process was transparent, inclusive and effective. IUCN was responsible for the design and implementation of the standard-setting process, in particular for the:

  • selection of the stakeholder representatives for the Standard Setting Group;

  • implementation of the stakeholder outreach programme;

  • management of the budget and all administrative requirements; and

  • development and implementation of the communication strategy and plan.

IUCN established and led a multi-stakeholder Standard Setting Group (SSG), including 14 representatives from businesses linked to the production and use of aluminium, and 14 civil society representatives. The group worked together for two years to develop the ASI Performance Standard (Principles and Criteria and Indicators and Means of Verification). The 14 business representatives funded the three-year process.

The ASI Standard is a tool for improving the overall sustainability performance and reputation of the aluminium industry. Specifically, the Standard can:

  • enable the aluminium industry to demonstrate responsibility and provide independent, credible and verifiable information regarding practices and improvements in ethical, social and environmental performance.

  • reinforce and promote consumer and stakeholder confidence in aluminium products.

  • enable the identification of suppliers and materials throughout the supply chain based on both their sustainability and technical performance.

  • reduce reputational risks concerning aluminium and aluminium industry players.

  • address the need, expressed by end-use customers and consumers, for traceability of aluminium throughout the value chain.

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.

“The aluminium industry is committed to maximizing the value that its products and activities generate, while minimizing their negative 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, from Hydro, also Co-Chair of the ASI Standard Setting Group. “We, the companies behind the ASI Standard, expect now to bring more peers on board.”

ASI established as a legal entity

As agreed with the 14 founding companies from the start, IUCN handed over the coordination of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative once the performance standard development process was completed. In March 2015, the first ASI Executive Director was appointed, and in June 2015 the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative Ltd was incorporated as a non-profit entity for the purpose of developing an independent, third-party certification program. It is anticipated that the ASI Certification programme will be formally launched in late 2017. IUCN was a member of ASI Board of Directors and of the Standards Group until early 2017.

Learn more about IUCN's role. 

Visit the ASI website.


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