An alumina refinery, five aluminium smelters and associated casting, recycling, waste management and infrastructure facilities in Canada, owned and operated by Rio Tinto, are the first operations to be certified against ASI’s ground-breaking Performance Standard for environmental, social and governance performance.

In addition, Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine in Gove, Australia, is the first mine to receive ASI Performance Standard certification and the second ASI Certification issued.

Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) announced the world’s first certifications against its newly launched standards for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium. ASI Certification of the Rio Tinto facilities located in the province of Québec, Canada and the Northern Territory, Australia, signifies that the practices at these sites meet the industry’s highest standards. In 2017, the smelters produced a combined 1.1 million tonnes of aluminium, around a third of Canada’s production, and the bauxite mine in Gove produced some 11 million tonnes of bauxite.

The ASI Certification program was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process and is the only comprehensive voluntary sustainability standard initiative for the aluminium value chain. Rio Tinto is a founding member of ASI and is the first company in the world to achieve ASI Certification. The independent, third-party audits were carried out by BNQ (Bureau de Normalisation du Québec), which was the first ASI Accredited Auditing Firm.

Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer at ASI said “ASI is delighted to be recognising these historic first ASI certifications achieved by Rio Tinto. They demonstrate that ASI’s program has successfully transitioned to implementation. The ultimate value of ASI lies in broad uptake throughout the aluminium value chain, and we are poised to increase momentum in both membership growth and certifications during 2018.

“We congratulate Rio Tinto and BNQ for their enthusiasm, diligence and commitment during the Standards’ development phase, as well as their willingness to be a trailblazer as the first member to navigate the process.”

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “Rio Tinto is proud to take this pioneering step as a global leader in responsible aluminium production.

“Aluminium has a key role to play in driving human progress, as a material of choice to reduce carbon and increase recycling across a wide range of end products from food packaging to buildings, planes, cars, mobile phones and computers.

“We expect leadership in responsible production will become increasingly important for our customers and the consumers who buy their products.”

Daniel Weston, Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Nespresso and Chair of the Board of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, said “The development of the ASI has taken many years of commitment and hard work by many parties, and these first certifications are an important milestone, pioneering the adoption of these new standards and leading the way for the entire industry.”