ASI/AAC Joint Media Release
Aluminium Stewardship Initiative holds second AGM in Montreal, confirms progress to certification program launch at year end
Montréal, Canada. Responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium took another decisive step forward this week, when over 80 representatives from aluminium producers, users, civil society, associations, government and other stakeholders came together at the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s (ASI) Annual General Meeting (AGM). The event was held on Tuesday 4 April at the Centre for Sustainable Development in Montreal, Canada and was supported by the Government of Quebec, Rio Tinto and the Aluminium Association of Canada.
The event included formal AGM proceedings for members and a public program that included keynote speakers Steven Guilbeault (Co-founder and Senior Director of Equiterre), Chris Coulter (Co-CEO and Board Member of Globescan) and Michael Liebreich (Chairman of the Advisory Board and Founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance). These keynotes highlighted several challenges that initiatives such as ASI face on the route to acceptance and successful implementation, as well as future trends, particularly in energy, which could be used to inspire the development and improve the relevance of ASI’s standards program.
ASI Directors formed a panel to discuss ASI’s strategic direction and what success would look like from different stakeholder perspectives. Views from civil society, industrial users and upstream producers all underscored the expected benefits of the ASI standards to their sectors that would be attainable after five years of implementation.
ASI CEO, Dr Fiona Solomon, provided an overview of how ASI is designing and delivering its program to achieve impact. She emphasised how ASI can contribute to how ASI can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the collective actions of its members. ASI’s standards address a wide range of the SDGs, including ‘responsible consumption and production’, and ‘partnerships for the goals’, among others.
Two parallel streams in the afternoon gave insights into ASI’s standards and intended impacts: the first via an overview of ASI’s program and a panel of ASI members providing perspectives on what it can deliver. For example, primary metal producers and downstream transformers of aluminium see the ASI as a licence to grow the production, transformation and use of aluminium in a responsible way in the future, while creating wealth and overall economic, social and environmental benefits for society as a whole. National Aluminium Associations stated their wish to be empowered to assist local aluminium ecosystems during the implementation phase to ensure proper membership alignment, public policy coherence and adequate assistance to downstream businesses in their respective regions of the world. The second parallel stream took an in-depth look at the results and feedback coming from prior consultations on ASI’s standards and assurance model.
Attendees enjoyed a local treat of snow with locally tapped maple syrup at an ‘urban sugar shack’ set up on site. The day closed with a cocktail reception with VIP guests from the Government of Quebec, as well as representatives from the Consulate General Britain, Russia, and France.
The AGM event is a major milestone in a broad scope of activities ASI will be undertaking through the remainder of 2017 to finalise the development of its program. From May to June, there will be a final public comment period on its draft standards, and from July to September, a pilot testing period with members via a custom Assurance Platform. These will be vital inputs to create a robust and credible standards and assurance model for the aluminium value chain. ASI confirmed that it is on track to launch its independent third-party certification program at year end.
ASI’s members include companies with activities in bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting, semi-fabrication, product and component manufacturing, as well as consumer and commercial goods, including the automotive industry, construction and packaging. Members also include leading civil society organisations, industry associations and other supporters.
ASI continues to seek engagement with commercial entities and stakeholders in the aluminium value chain from across the world. Organisations interested in membership are encouraged to learn more about our membership structure and how to join.
About the Aluminium Association of Canada
Founded in 1991, the Aluminium Association of Canada (AAC) is a non-profit organization representing the Canadian primary aluminium industry towards the population, end-users, public authorities, and key environmental and economic stakeholders. The AAC strives to ensure that the Canadian primary aluminium industry is considered a world-class model of sustainable prosperity.