Certification process

How ResponsibleSteel Certification Works

ResponsibleSteel’s core certification rewards pioneers that have met the ResponsibleSteel International Production Standard’s core environmental, social and governance requirements. Additionally, sites can now work towards the next level, demonstrating levels of progress towards net zero and responsible sourcing.

About Core Site Certification

Sites that have achieved core site certification have been independently certified as conforming with more than 300 requirements, covering the key social and environmental aspects of steelmaking as specified in the ResponsibleSteel International Production Standard. Core site certification is a major achievement, requiring commitment at the level of the corporate owner and the site itself, across all the aspects of steelmaking that take place at the site. Sites that have achieved core site certification are encouraged to use the core certified site mark to promote their achievement at the site, in publications and on their website.


The ResponsibleSteel International Production Standard includes four Progress Levels for both decarbonisation and responsible materials sourcing in addition to the core requirements. These Progress Levels have been developed after extensive discussions with our members and stakeholders and give steel sites the opportunity to not only demonstrate performance in these areas, but to make claims about their steel products, and to market them as ‘Certified Steel’.

Decarbonisation Progress Levels

The Decarbonisation Progress Levels build on the core certification requirements of Principle 10 of the Production Standard. In addition to setting a site level decarbonisation target in line with the company’s long term plans, aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, a site has to measure their embodied crude steel GHG emissions in accordance with our detailed accounting rules to allow for globally consistent comparisons. The site’s products can claim to be made with Certified Steel where the site achieves one of four Decarbonisation Progress Levels, assessed using scrap-variable thresholds taking into account the proportion of scrap used, and when their product carbon footprint is disclosed according to specified standards. Progress Levels track the site’s journey towards and achieving Level 4, which represents near-zero emissions. ResponsibleSteel’s Decarbonisation Progress Audit Tool is designed to help sites conduct a self assessment to determine where they are on their decarbonisation journey - please get in touch if you would like to trial it.

Materials Sourcing Progress Levels

The Materials Sourcing Progress Levels contained in Principle 3 build on the core requirements specified in Principle 2 of the ResponsibleSteel International Production Standard. The aim of these levels is two-fold – to recognise well-performing suppliers and to help improve ESG performance across supply chains. Level 1 is deliberately defined to get the steel industry and suppliers started on the responsible sourcing journey while Level 2 is a stepping stone to responsibility. Levels 3 and 4 recognise steel sites and suppliers that implement robust input material programmes.

Certification for Downstream and End Users

Only steelmaking and processing sites can currently undergo certification and use ResponsibleSteel certification marks. ResponsibleSteel is currently working to extend the system to cover all downstream and end users of steel through the application of an effective downstream chain of custody and claims system, which is expected to be finalised in late 2024.

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