London, March 16th,2018
“If we get this right, we’re going to make a real difference”.
Well, you can’t fault ResponsibleSteel™ for a lack of ambition. Matthew Wenban-Smith is talking about the launch of the ResponsibleSteel™ Standard development process.
The formal process itself won’t start until May, but discussion and debate over the content of the first public draft is already under way. A preliminary draft of one key section, covering greenhouse gas emissions, was circulated to the initiative’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Working Group at the start of the month, and the comments have started to come in.
“Up to this point, we have had a model standard available,” says Matthew. “It’s based on other standards that are out there. It tries to take account of the requirements of leading steelmakers and their customers, as well as the issues and concerns of social and environmental groups when they look at steelmaking, mining, and the sourcing of other raw materials. But we haven’t sat down with our stakeholders to work out what’s going to work best. How will we marry ambition and pragmatism to achieve our vision of sustainability? Now we’re starting that process”.
The next stage of the process will be a meeting of ResponsibleSteel™ Members, Associates and invited observers at the DNV GL offices in London on 9th April.
“This will be the first time we get together with our stakeholders to really focus on the content of the ResponsibleSteel™ Standard, and how its use will create the value for all parties that is needed to achieve our vision”.
Matthew emphasises that the meeting on the 9th will be to test out ideas, rather than to take decisions. And there will be a lot more work to be done before the new draft is ready for formal public consultation, in line with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.
“This is just the beginning of the journey,” he says, “but it’s good to be getting started’.
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