Molde, Norway: More than 100 participants from the entire aluminium value chain and beyond came together to share their perspectives on the positive implementation progress of ASI’s Certification program over the last twelve months, and reflect on the challenges still ahead.
ASI’s AGM week kicked-off on Sunday June 2 to Monday June 3 with the ASI Board Meeting and a Training session where participants received an in-depth look at the ASI Performance and Chain of Custody Standards. First-time participants took advantage of a new Orientation session that introduced the ASI and its work, as well as an overview of the AGM Week activities to come.
On Tuesday morning, the formal AGM proceedings were where ASI’s organisational reports were tabled for discussion with members, and participants had the opportunity to hear feedback and have Q&A from a Standards Committee Panel and Directors Panel. Over lunch, Anders Johanson Eira from the Protect Sápmi Foundation shared experiences of co-working models between Indigenous peoples and industry in Norway.
On Tuesday afternoon, the conference program opened with an inspiring session showcasing the progress and achievement of ASI Certification by ten diverse members, from mining to end users in the aluminium value chain and from around the world, with representatives from Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Netherlands, Russia and UAE. Sharing their insights on how they approached ASI Certification, lessons learned and practical outcomes were Gulkula Mining, Constantia Flexibles, Nanshan Aluminium, Alunorf, EGA, Hydro Extruded Solutions, UC Rusal, AUDI, Companhia Brasiliera de Aluminio and Shanghai Shenhuo Aluminium Foil.
Sessions on human rights due diligence and ASI’s outcomes and impacts brought the focus to a wider scope of issues, giving participants valuable insights into where and how human rights can be impacted along the aluminium value chain, an eye-opening look at mining impacts in Guinea and a broader look at the aluminium sector in context, including a carbon and waste management outlook for primary aluminium production to 2040.
Day two shifted the focus to the downstream part of the aluminium value chain, with presentations looking at broad sustainability challenges for the packaging sector (GLAFRI), with inputs from specific types of packaging, like coffee capsules (Nespresso) and aseptic packs (Tetra Pak), and insights into the importance of supply chain partnerships and alignment with parallel initiatives (Amcor).
Responsible sourcing approaches and supply chain standards were next on the agenda, with presentations on the activities of the Responsible Minerals Initiative, the London Metal Exchange, Trafigura and the International Aerospace Environment Group. An ongoing focus for ASI is benchmarking and harmonisation, which is also of strong interest for many ASI stakeholders.
An interactive session on ASI Claims for Chain of Custody first featured a case study presentation from SIG outlining their perspectives on on-pack claims under ASI Certification, and then had participants bring their experience to the table and come up with a wide range of creative ideas for on-product labelling. The day concluded with a session looking ahead at the ASI Standards revision process to commence in 2020, an update from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Working Group, and a report from the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum. Participants were invited to gather again next year at the 2020 ASI AGM Week to be held in Longkou, Shandong Province, China, during the week of May 18.
In the evening, Sun-Min Kim from GIZ — the German development agency that provides services in the field of international development cooperation — spoke about GIZ’s work in the extractives sector and offered some personal reflections on sustainability challenges.
Decked out in their protective gear, AGM participants added a touch of bright yellow to Hydro’s Sunndal smelter and casthouse during Thursday’s site visit. The visit was a close-up view into how aluminium metal is produced at Europe’s largest and most modern plant for primary aluminium production. Presentations on their sustainability approach and work on wastes and emissions controls provided some insights into the site’s recent ASI Performance Standard Certification.
In the evening, the AGM closing dinner was held at the Bergtatt Marble Caves near Molde. Participants enjoyed a multi-sensory “wow experience” during a tour on small wooden barges that meandered through colourfully lit excavation tunnels across crystal clear water while being serenaded by a saxophone player whose haunting melodies were amplified by the natural acoustics. Egil Hogna, Executive Vice President for Extruded Solutions, Hydro, closed the week for AGM attendees with some reflections on what sustainability means for the industry in general, for Hydro in particular, and what we should all be working towards in future.
On Friday, in the last session of the week, ASI’s multi-stakeholder Standards Committee met to discuss initial planning for the upcoming Standards revision process and hear updates from all the Working Groups.
It was a great week of inspiration and hard work, of networking and information sharing, and of long sunlit hours admiring the fantastic landscape of Molde and the fjord under the midnight sun. Tusen takk og ha det bra Norge!
The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative is grateful for the support of Norsk Hydro and TÜV Rheinland for their support and sponsorship of this year’s AGM Week.