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18 December 2023

ASI is strongly committed to involving stakeholders and rightsholders in our multi-stakeholder governance and as part of independent assurance processes.  Transparency in our work and actions is key.

A review in 2022 by BGR (the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources) articulates and applies clear and consistent criteria for governance, and found ASI had the highest overall rating out of all programs reviewed. This article sets out ASI’s key principles and practices, in response to another recent scheme review shared with ASI that appears to have omitted to properly consider our approach.

1) Composition of stakeholders in corporate and standards governance

ASI actively seek a diversity of voices for a balance of interests in decision-making.  We separate out ‘corporate governance’ by the Board and ‘standards governance’ by the Standards Committee, to support good governance with checks and balances.

  • ASI’s Board is responsible for ‘corporate governance’ of the organisation. It is a group of 8, with 2 directors from upstream, 2 directors from downstream in the aluminium value chain, 2 directors from civil society and 2 independent directors. The structure provides for an equal balance in decision-making by industry (half) and civil society / independent (half).  An independent director acts as Chair.
  • ASI’s Standards Committee is responsible for ‘standards governance’. It is a group of 24, 12 from the aluminium value chain (6 upstream and 6 downstream), 10 from civil society and 2 nominated by the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum (IPAF).  There are two co-chairs elected by the group – one from each half of the Committee, voted in by all.  The structure provides for an equal balance in decision-making by industry (half) and civil society / IPAF (half).  There are currently 4 IPAF members on the Committee, as 2 are from organisations that are also ASI Civil Society Members in their own right.
  • In addition to these elected governance groups, we welcome all civil society and IPAF participation in ASI, as members, and/or participants in Working Groups on key topics (e.g. human rights, circularity, climate change). Contact us here or via email at for more information on how to be involved.
  • General voting rights for governance elections (to choose who sits on the Board and Standards Committee from a pool of nominees), and general or special member resolutions on matters governed by the Corporations Act), are weighted to ensure a balance of interests across ASI membership classes, irrespective of numbers of members in each individual class. The weights of Production and Transformation (30%), Civil Society (30%) and Industrial Users and Downstream Supporters combined (20%+10%=30%) are equal.  The remaining 10% is split between Associations and General Supporters.
  • The weighted voting for member resolutions ensures that Civil Society members contribute 30% of the overall membership vote, despite currently comprising only 4% of ASI’s 328 members by number. This is critically important as ASI’s supply chain uptake continues to scale, and amplifies the voice of stakeholders and rightsholders.  Standards governance – decision-making about the content of ASI’s Standards – provides for 50% vote to civil society and rightsholders in the ASI Standards Committee.

2) Access and participation in standards setting

We emphasise consensus building in our governance.  Principles and practices for this are described at length in the ASI Governance Handbook.

  • ASI’s Standards-Setting Procedure, which is independently assessed as aligned with the ISEAL Standards Setting Code), put stakeholder access and participation at the heart of the process.
  • We specifically support the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum (IPAF) to provide input in standards setting processes, including with translation support and capacity building activities. During the last round of standard updates in 2020-2022 which was during the Covid pandemic, we provided financial resources for IPAF members to hold local consultations to feed into the Standards Committee via a formal report.  All IPAF recommendations were adopted by the Committee.
  • For transparency on these processes in practice, we publish Board minutes and Standards Committee minutes on the ASI website – so all stakeholders can see who participated in decisions, and how they were made.
  • We hold regular webinars and information sessions on standards topics, and on the standards development process and how to contribute when in an active phase.
  • We also hold a wide range of individual discussions with stakeholders and rightsholders.
  • We publish all standards drafts for consultation, and publish the feedback (anonymously if requested).

3) Involving affected parties in ASI audits

ASI’s assurance process sets out how auditors must seek objective evidence for conformance, including via interviews of workers, stakeholders and rightsholders.

  • Affected communities are identified and interviewed/consulted during the audit process and this is clearly covered in the ASI Assurance Manual (see section 8.4.3 for example).
  • At Facilities located within the vicinity of Indigenous Peoples and affected communities, Auditors are required to conduct outreach and interviews with Indigenous Peoples and other Rightsholders and Stakeholders with an interest in the operation.
  • As part of the ASI Oversight Mechanism, the Secretariat checks for stakeholder participation as part of pre-audit reviews of audit plans for upstream facilities, and then in report oversight processes for all submitted audit reports. On a number of occasions, we have required audit plans to be expanded to include a wider scope of stakeholders to be consulted, or in a few cases, even required auditors to go back to site and conduct further interviews after a report has been submitted and this aspect was inadequate.
  • All audit outcomes are published on the ASI website. We have a number of channels through which stakeholders and rightsholders can raise concerns or complaints with us.
  • If you are interested in providing input or feedback to a past, current or future ASI audit, please let us know via the ASI Help Desk, or raise a concern via the ASI Complaints Mechanism
  • If you would like to know more about the ASI assurance process or issues in the aluminium value chain more generally, you can access free online training at:
  • If you are Indigenous or from an affected community, you can participate in tailored IPAF discussions and training: email to find out more.

4) Incorporating learning in revision processes

ASI’s Data and Research Framework aims to monitor, evaluate and learn (MEL) from both our interventions as a multistakeholder initiative, and the broader context in which we operate.

  • The objectives of the Data and Research workstream include to:
    • Monitor progress and performance of ASI workstreams
    • Evaluate specific activities and/or outcomes
    • Address learning questions about priority topics
    • Continue to improve the effectiveness of ASI as a multi-stakeholder initiative
    • Publish accessible information for stakeholders on D&R activities to:
      • share how these inform improvements in ASI’s workstreams and/or
      • inform stakeholder practices, capacity and decision-making.
    • The ASI Standards Setting Procedure sets out how we approach the development, approval, publication and revision of ASI Standards and ASI Guidance. The procedure states that learnings from reviews of the performance and effectiveness of the ASI Certification program, members’ conformance to or performance against the ASI Standard/s, and the analysis of feedback received from members, auditors and other stakeholders are all important ingredients in revision processes.
    • We regularly publish Data and Research analyses and welcome feedback.

5) ISEAL membership

ASI is a Code-Compliant member of ISEAL, which sets very comprehensive standards (on standard-setting, assurance and impacts) for assessing the credibility of voluntary sustainability standards.

  • Code Compliance is assessed by ISEAL-appointed independent reviewers. ASI’s most recent review was against the Standards-Setting Code in mid-2022, and the independent reviewer found zero non-conformances.
  • In 2024, ISEAL is moving to an Integrated Code and ASI intends to maintain its compliance status and is already addressing new and expanded requirements.
  • ASI is the only standard in the industrial metals space that is a Code Compliant member of ISEAL. Being part of the ‘ISEAL community’ is not equivalent.  A lot of work goes into achieving and maintaining Code Compliance, and we commend this effort to be undertaken by other schemes.

6) What we’re working on in 2024

We continue to strive to improve, and in 2024 will be updating a number of key procedures as part of a regular review cycle that draws on implementation experience.  We are currently working on:

  • ASI Complaints Mechanism: emphasising the role of dialogue as one of the tools to help resolve complaints;  expanding and clarifying the scope;  separating out the whistleblowing component into a separate policy.
  • ASI Governance Handbook: aligning with updates to the ASI Constitution in November 2023 (including Board remuneration for Civil Society and Independent Directors, and requirement for Directors to follow ACNC Governance Standard 5); adding new sections to align with the ISEAL Integrated Code, regarding: diversity, equity and inclusion; safeguarding; whistleblower protection; grievances.
  • ASI Assurance Manual: a wide range of updates including incorporating previously stand-alone Force Majeure policy; managing reprisal risks and potential conflicts of interest; and expanding guidance for auditors on planning and audit conduct.


iseal code compliant