Suspension of certain auditing activities

ResponsibleSteel expresses grave concern about actions that compromise global peace and give rise to humanitarian crises. The principles which form the ResponsibleSteel Standard emphasise, among other matters, the importance of protecting and promoting human rights, labour rights, and safe and healthy workplaces, as well as legal compliance.  The current and ongoing actions of aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine do not align with ResponsibleSteel’s principles, and ResponsibleSteel agrees that such actions violate International Law.

Due to the evolving nature of Governmental sanctions affecting certain organisations and individuals in the international steel industry, as imposed by the EU, Australia and other countries and organisations, ResponsibleSteel has decided that it is necessary to impose a suspension on the auditing of facilities of certain members.

At this stage, because of the circumstances described above, as well as the order of the International Court of Justice for the Russian Federation to immediately cease its military operations in Ukraine, this action only affects members who ResponsibleSteel considers have significant operations in, or substantive connections to, the Russian Federation.

All members affected by this ResponsibleSteel decision will be individually contacted to have the situation explained to them.  A suspension of auditing does not alter an affected member’s membership rights in ResponsibleSteel.

ResponsibleSteel will reconsider this decision regularly.  ResponsibleSteel is hopeful that as soon as is possible, bearing in mind prevailing sanctions regimes, geopolitical stability, and other relevant circumstances, auditing suspensions will be promptly lifted.

This decision of ResponsibleSteel should not be taken to imply that any particular member of ResponsibleSteel, or any officer or employee of a member of ResponsibleSteel, has engaged in any wrongdoing or other inappropriate conduct.  ResponsibleSteel simply believes that a generalised, and consistent, position on suspension of auditing is an effective measure to ensure that ResponsibleSteel does not breach any of its obligations under international or domestic laws, that personnel involved in the auditing process can carry out their duties independently and effectively and are not subject to any increased risks to their personal health and safety, and that engagement of stakeholders in the auditing process can be effective.

It may be that, over time, Governmental sanctions and other circumstances require ResponsibleSteel to take further action, including expanding limitations on auditing activities, and action affecting memberships, but such steps are not being considered at this stage.

For enquiries or comments, please contact:
Ali Lucas, Acting CEO and Communications Director +44 (0) 7786 546 724

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