Members approve ResponsibleSteel™ Standard

Members approve ResponsibleSteel™ Standard

ResponsibleSteel is proud to announce that the ResponsibleSteel Standard, the world’s first international, multi-stakeholder standard for responsible production for steelmaking and processing sites, has been approved by its members and board.

The objective of the ResponsibleSteel Standard is to support the responsible sourcing and production of steel, as a tool for the achievement of ResponsibleSteel’s vision: to maximise steel’s contribution to a sustainable society.

The Standard aims to define the fundamental elements, and levels of implementation, that characterise the responsible production of steel. The responsible sourcing of raw materials will be the major focus of further work in 2020. As a multi-stakeholder organisation, ResponsibleSteel sought to engage the voices of its members and a broad range of interested parties in the Standard development process.

The Standard consists of twelve principles for the responsible sourcing and production of steel: Corporate Leadership; Social Environmental and Governance Management Systems; Occupational Health and Safety; Labour Rights; Human Rights; Stakeholder Engagement and Communication; Local Communities; Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Noise, Emissions, Effluent and Waste; Water Stewardship; Biodiversity; and Decommissioning and Closure.

The Standard was approved by a ballot of the ResponsibleSteel membership and formally ratified by the ResponsibleSteel Board of Directors in November 2019.

Matthew Wenban-Smith, Executive Director, ResponsibleSteel, said: “This is a huge milestone for both ResponsibleSteel and for its members and supporters. The ResponsibleSteel Standard has been developed through a rigorous process of public consultation, membership approval and board ratification, and we are pleased it is now available to support the responsible sourcing and production of steel.”

Daniel Klier, Group General Manager, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, HSBC Holdings plc, said: “HSBC welcomes the new ResponsibleSteel Standard as the first multi-stakeholder framework for responsible low-carbon steel making. Steel is a vital material for growth in new energy systems, transportation and the cities of the future – but the steel industry collectively is also responsible for 7% of global emissions. We look forward to the first certified steel making sites, and the opportunities this will provide to the end users of steel. The framework will also enable the finance sector to provide the investment needed to accelerate the transition to low-carbon steel.”

Margaret Hansbrough, Campaign Director, Mighty Earth, said: “In our work at Mighty Earth, we have seen entire industries transform when market leaders work together to advance ambitious voluntary commitments for climate, environment, and human rights. Today, we are seeing leaders step forward in the steel industry, an industry responsible for approximately 7 to 9 percent of global emissions. When companies and civil society step up together, big things can happen. This rigorous yet accessible standard is the result of a deeply collaborative stakeholder process which we will continue to leverage to bring forth even bolder goals to ensure a 1.5 degree threshold is possible. This urgent work has only just begun.”

ResponsibleSteel is now developing tools to help organisations implement the Standard. The Implementation Instructions and Assurance Manual will be published at the end of November, and the first auditor training workshop was held in London on 18th-20th November. It is expected that the first certified steel sites audited with ResponsibleSteel Standard will be announced in the first half of 2020.

ResponsibleSteel Standard version 1.0 is available here. The Standard will be formally launched at Forum II on 1-3 December in Wollongong, Australia.

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