Update on site certification and product certification timelines

Update on site certification and product certification timelines

Following a decision taken at its Members meeting in June, ResponsibleSteel’s strategic priority for the remainder of 2019 is to launch its requirements for the certification of steel making sites by the end of the year.

Paramount to achieving this goal will be the finalisation of the ResponsibleSteel standard by early Q4. The standard defines environmental, social and business ethics principles and criteria for steel making sites, focussing on areas under the operational control of steel makers. Progress on this is well underway, with the recent publication of ResponsibleSteel Standard Draft Version 4.1.

To meet the end of year launch date, the Secretariat will also be focusing in the coming months on developing key documentation to accompany the standard. This includes guidance to the standard, an assurance manual, auditor accreditation procedures and a claims guide. Certification to the standard will enable steel makers to claim their sites are ResponsibleSteel certified. In other words, site-related claims.

However, ResponsibleSteel’s programme will not end with the certification of steel making sites. Members unanimously agree that to enable product-related claims, ResponsibleSteel must in due course include stringent requirements around the responsible sourcing of raw materials.

Developing these raw materials requirements will be the main strategic priority for ResponsibleSteel in the first half of next year. Central to this aspect of the programme will be the recognition of existing third party mining certification schemes, as ResponsibleSteel will not be developing its own standard for mining.

ResponsibleSteel also aims to take a holistic approach by considering the full range of raw materials used in steel making. This includes the ferro alloys and base metals using for alloying and coatings, and builds upon a supply chain mapping exercise already undertaken by the World Steel Association. 

This approach to raw materials coverage is due to a common consensus amongst members that environmental and social risk does not always correlate to purchased volumes. At the same time, members recognise that the requirements must be practicable and implementable, so a balance must be struck.  

The raw materials requirements enabling product-related claims will be launched around June 2020.

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