On April 4, 2017, over 80 representatives from aluminium producers, users, civil society, associations, government and other stakeholders brought their energy and engagement to Montreal for what turned out to be an informative, inspired and impact-focused AGM and Stakeholder Event.

Informative
Several sessions throughout the day served to inform participants on the current status of the ASI’s Program development. First, members received a progress update on ASI’s strategic priorities of effective governance, credible program, growing membership, and financial resilience. During the Directors Panel, ASI Directors gave participants insights on ASI’s strategic direction and described what a successful ASI Program would look like from different stakeholder perspectives.

Inspired
The day’s keynotes focused on challenges facing ASI en route to acceptance and successful implementation. The first (Steven Guillebeault, Equiterre) examined how civil society is influencing businesses, as well as governments, and the role that multi-stakeholder processes can have to help define better projects and limit the risk of failure. The second (Chris Coulter, Globescan) focused on consumer trust, the changing impression of trust in corporate ‘leadership’ over time and in the present volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, and how initiatives like ASI need to demonstrate their credibility to the coming generation of sustainability-aware “Aspirationals”. Last, (Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg New Energy Finance) the focus shifted to climate change, the world’s energy future, and need for the ASI Standards to harness the dynamic, changing global energy mix to remain relevant, and use this as a stimulus during the final development stage for its future impact.

Impact-focused
The CEO Update provided an overview of how ASI is designing and delivering its program to achieve impact, with a particular focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Participants then got a window onto the intended impacts of ASI’s two standards in development during afternoon parallel sessions. First, the ‘strategic’ stream described progress to date on the entire ASI work program, going into detail on the two ASI Standards. A members panel provided the ‘production and transformation’. ‘industrial user’, ‘association’, and ‘civil society’ perspectives on the relevance and benefits of the ASI Standards in their sector (see also the following article). Significantly, Associations were noted for their significant role as a bridge to government and policy-making processes, especially tendering. Second, a technical session provided insights into a minor update to the Performance Standard and the latest consultation feedback on the Chain of Custody Standard. The session then took a deeper dive into the Assurance Manual and Assurance Platform that is under development, as well as the Claims Guide, all of which will be critical for the upcoming pilot phase. Presentation slides from the ASI AGM sessions are available on the ASI website.

After the AGM, the focus shifted from inspiration to perspiration, as the Standards Committee (SC) pushed through a dense 3-day agenda of discussions to work through final issues and discussion points on the Performance and Chain of Custody Standards, Assurance Manual and Platform, and Claims Guide before the public consultation in May.

The AGM event and subsequent SC meeting were 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. ASI extends its thanks to all AGM member and non-member participants and presenters for their active and thoughtful engagement!

From May to June, there will be a final public comment period on ASI’s 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. We are on track to launch our independent third-party certification program at year end (see key dates below).

ASI Program development key upcoming events/dates

• ASI Standards – public consultation on latest drafts of Performance Standard and CoC Standard – May-June 2017
• Pilot program – July-September 2017
• Standards Committee review of all feedback – September-October 2017
• Board Adoption of final standards – target November/December 2017.

Please contact the ASI Secretariat with any questions or comments: info@aluminium-stewardship.org

AGM presentations and some photo impressions are also available on the ASI AGM 2017 page.