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15 January 2024

We are six years away from 2030 – the year for so many global sustainability goals for our planet, its people, and the natural environment. ASI’s 2030 goals centre on climate, circularity, nature and human rights as priority issues for the aluminium value chain.  What are the challenges and barriers we’re facing, and how does ASI’s Strategy aim to tackle them?

Growing urgency of sustainability challenges

The urgency of the issues is driving a continued increase of initiatives by topic, region, sector, and material.  Regulation is now entering spaces that were often previously left to voluntary initiatives to create common approaches.  There are pressures to find (simple and fast) solutions to complex systemic challenges.  At the same time, we must all manage constant demands for our time and attention.  Often this leads to a desire for (over-) simplified information and little time for stakeholders to engage deeply.  For organisations like ASI, we have to work hard to meet diverse expectations and steer through ‘noise’.

At the same time there is growing scepticism about action being taken

There are legitimate questions about whether the world can simply mine or recycle its way out of the current climate and nature crisis, and who bears the burden of impacts.  For aluminium in particular, there is a huge challenge ahead for reducing absolute footprints in the context of projected growth in demand.  In a rapid push for action, falling back on legacy systems and processes will only expand the problems.  We should expect escalating scrutiny of all action in the ‘name of sustainability’.

ASI’s commitment to integrity and remedy

As ASI scales, our program integrity must scale too.  Tackling the difficult issues means working to improve poorer performance in this sector.  This is the best place to create impact, but we acknowledge it can also bring reputation risk.

We will keep moving the goalposts forward and work to address sustainability priorities in an integrated and systemic way.  We will continue to push for change on big challenges for the sector – such as decarbonisation, closing all loops, impacts on Indigenous peoples, and on biodiversity.

We need committed and talented people:  working to create change in member organisations, as part of the ASI Secretariat, and carrying out independent assurance.

At the same time, we acknowledge there are a range of perspectives and voices on what performance means.  ASI’s Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum (IPAF) provides a platform for some of those rightsholders.  We remain committed to a timely and effective complaints mechanism, where we can support dialogue and engagement as well as more formal processes for remedy.

In 2024

Some of our many goals for this year are:

  • Expanded standards team and preparations for the next revision cycle
  • Entity-level 1.5C aligned GHG Pathways method rolled out to all members and auditors
  • Launch of a full-scale revamp of elementAL 2.0, ASI’s online assurance platform
  • Interactive dashboards for ASI Certifications
  • ‘Beyond Certification’ projects that continue to build on-the-ground capacity for affected communities

We will continue to harness our specialised insight into the aluminium value chain, offer access to information and metrics for rights-holders and decision-makers, and invest time in broader stakeholder engagement and harmonisation efforts.

We – like everyone – are impatient for the urgent changes needed for a more sustainable future. Through collaboration with our growing number of stakeholders, we will continue to push forward together.

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