Rio Tinto to offer independently certified responsibly produced aluminium

26 July 2018

Rio Tinto to offer independently certified responsibly produced aluminium

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Rio Tinto has become the first mining and metals company to be granted the aluminium industry’s Chain of Custody certification by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). The certification means Rio Tinto will be the only company selling aluminium that customers can be assured has been produced to the highest environmental, social and governance standards, placing Rio Tinto at a competitive advantage.

The certification reinforces Rio Tinto’s commitment to responsible mining and metals production by providing independent verification that material can be traced through a ‘chain of custody’ spanning Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite mine in Australia to its alumina refinery, aluminium smelters and casthouses in Quebec, Canada.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “Achieving this certification demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to the highest international production standards and offers customers the ability to provide end consumers with the confidence that the aluminium in their products has been responsibly produced.

“Aluminium has a key role to play 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.”

Rio Tinto has led the establishment of responsible production certification for the aluminium industry as a founding member of the ASI, working alongside customers and a broad range of stakeholders.

Rio Tinto Aluminium vice president sales and marketing and ASI Board member Tolga Egrilmezer said “We see certified sustainable aluminium as a point of differentiation for Rio Tinto as customers become increasingly interested in ensuring that metals have been responsibly produced. The ASI certification will enable us to generate value for Rio Tinto and our customers because we believe there will be a fundamental shift in demand for these products.”

ASI chief executive officer Fiona Solomon said “We applaud Rio Tinto for their commitment to ASI’s mission since joining as a founding member, and for being the first to achieve ASI certification for both ASI Standards. This successful Chain of Custody certification demonstrates ASI’s potential to create impact through voluntary uptake of its program. We look forward to the positive example being set by upstream producers, like Rio Tinto, extending into downstream aluminium use sectors such as automotive, construction and packaging.”

Notes to editors

Rio Tinto produces some of the highest quality, lowest carbon footprint aluminium in the world at its Canadian smelters and launched the industry’s first certified low carbon aluminium, RenewAlTM, in 2016.

Rio Tinto received the ASI’s first Performance Standard certification – the highest internationally recognised standard for robust environmental, social and governance practices – in April. The certification covers five aluminium smelters, the Vaudreuil refinery, casting centres, port and railway facilities in Quebec, Canada.

The ASI Chain of Custody certification that has now been granted provides independent verification that material can be traced through a supply chain spanning these operations.

Rio Tinto is now working with the ASI on audits and certifications for other sites in its global aluminium business.

The ASI is a global, multi-stakeholder, non-profit standards setting and certification organisation. It works toward responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium following an entire value chain approach. ASI launched its Performance Standard and Chain of Custody Standard in December 2017.

ASI’s 60+ members include leading civil society organisations, companies with activities in bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting, semi-fabrication, product and component manufacturing, as well as consumer and commercial goods, including the automotive industry, construction and packaging, as well as industry associations and other supporters.

For more information on the ASI visit aluminium-stewardship.org.