The Big River Steel mill in Osceola, Arkansas owned and managed by U. S. Steel has been awarded the first-ever ResponsibleSteel™ site certification in North America.
Big River Steel received the site certification after SRI Quality System Registrar (SRI) conducted an independent third-party audit and determined the mill met the stringent requirements of the ResponsibleSteel Standard, the industry’s only global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative. The rigorous audit consisted of gathering comprehensive materials, onsite visits and worker and stakeholder interviews.
As an innovative steel producer, Big River Steel is setting a new gold standard for North America. Customers want rigorous standards that have been independently verified to help them achieve their own sustainability goals, and ResponsibleSteel provides the common platform for all assets of the steel value chain.
Alison Lucas, acting CEO said, “We are delighted that U. S. Steel’s Big River site has become the first site in North America to successfully pass an independent audit against the ResponsibleSteel Standard – the global sustainability standard for the steel sector. This is a significant achievement. Our Standard, developed by the only international multi-stakeholder steel initiative, ensures that steelmaking sites comply with a comprehensive selection of criteria that reflect the full breadth of the ESG spectrum. So meaning they are not only taking steps towards decarbonization but also of prioritizing the health and safety of workers and operating with the utmost respect for human rights and labour rights and care for the natural environment.”
Lucas concluded, “As one of the largest steel-producing countries globally, getting steelmakers in the US certified is crucial. We are looking forward to working closely with US Steel on the next stage of their journey.”
The audit identified three areas that will require further improvement from Big River Steel. Two of these are related to paid annual leave and paid maternity leave. The ResponsibleSteel Standard aligns with the International Labour Organization (ILO) on these two issues. The United States has not ratified the related ILO Conventions, therefore U.S.-based companies grant paid annual leave and maternity leave to their employees differently. ResponsibleSteel will consult with stakeholders on how these two requirements should be applied in the United States.
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