Melanie Williams Consulting

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Should the ASI allow a market credits system?

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative will launch a sustainability scheme in 2017. The aim is to get sustainable aluminium into the market place as soon as possible after this.  A market credits system for sustainable aluminium is a way to achieve this goal and ASI is currently analysing stakeholder views as it decides on whether to incorporate this option into the scheme. My submission to the stakeholder consultation is summarised below. 

A market credits system incentivises producers of the raw materials at the top of the supply chain to become certified at the outset of the sustainability scheme, as they can sell the credits to operators further down the supply chain, even if intermediate processors are not certified. This is particularly important for the aluminium sector, which has a long supply chain. Members of the ASI selling aluminium products to the consumer will be able to buy credits as soon as the first bauxite mine to casthouse chain is ASI certified.  Similar credit systems operate successfully in other sustainability schemes e.g agricultural commodities and biofuels.

The ASI is proposing a robust system with re-sale of credits between operators prohibited and all credits to be sold within a mass balance accounting period, so oversight can be maintained.

Outsourcing contractors should be audited for compliance with the ASI CoC Standard by ASI auditors.  The accepted view of a chain of custody is that all entities physically in possession of sustainable material shall be audited to prove compliance with the CoC Standard, whether they hold their own certificate or are in within the scope of another entity’s certification. This also applies to traders and warehouses. 

Scrap aluminium is classified as pre or post-consumer scrap by ASI. Post-consumer scrap is ASI compliant if it has passed a due diligence test, according to the ASI Performance Standard. It is important to clarify that scrap yards do not have to be certified to produce ASI compliant post-consumer scrap.  This will provide an immediate source of ASI compliant aluminium to help get the scheme off the ground.

Published: 12 January 17

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