ResponsibleSteel launches the world’s first sustainability standard for the steel industry

A not-for-profit organisation, ResponsibleSteel is the industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative.


The ResponsibleSteel Standard, the world’s first international, multi-stakeholder standard for responsible production for steel making and processing sites, has been officially launched at ResponsibleSteel’s Forum II in Wollongong, Australia.

The steel industry currently faces challenges such as high greenhouse gas emissions, implementing sustainable mining practices, employee safety and labour rights. The ResponsibleSteel Standard helps the steel industry address these challenges by defining the fundamental elements, and levels of implementation, that characterise the responsible sourcing and production of steel. It supports ResponsibleSteel’s vision: to maximise steel’s contribution to a sustainable society.

Matthew Wenban-Smith, Executive Director of 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.”

The Standard consists of twelve principles: 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.

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

ResponsibleSteel has developed tools to help organisations implement the Standard, including Implementation Instructions and an Assurance Manual. 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.

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