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New Global Sustainability Standards Are Coming to the Aluminum Sector

Image via Flickr by Emilian Robert Vicol

Aluminum is a nonmagnetic metal used in all sorts of industries, such as transportation, technology, and manufacturing. Most people are familiar with aluminum because of aluminum cans and aluminum foil. It is a popular compound because it has low density and resists corrosion. Plus, aluminum is one of the most widely found and readily available compounds on the earth.

Twenty-eight organizations, including Nestle Nespresso and BMW Group, have collaborated on a new set of standards for the production and maintenance of aluminum in the supply chain. The standards will be released near the beginning of 2015 as The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard. The biggest aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the mining of aluminum. All of the organizations that collaborated on the ASI Standard intend to only buy certified aluminum that meets the new criteria.

In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, the ASI Standard addresses 11 sustainability issues, such as labor rights, business integrity, material stewardship, effluents and waste, policy and management, occupational health and safety. These standards are supposed to improve the social, environmental, and governance performance of aluminum. Companies that mine for aluminum must prove that they meet all of the requirements of the Standard to become certified.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) facilitated the new ASI standards. Julia Marton-Lefevre from the IUCN said, “The ASI Standard is an important first step. Once implemented, it will help companies achieve greater efficiencies and transparency, while improving their social and environmental performance.”

There has been a shift in the world towards more sustainable processes. Aluminum is following suit because of the new ASI Standard. It is a good thing for the environment and a good thing for all of the industries that use aluminum in their products.

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