Xuan Hai Nguyen
Supply Chain Auditor and Technical Support, SEA
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Steel is an essential construction and production material worldwide. The ResponsibleSteel™ standard sets forth requirements for responsible processing and production, helping the industry respond to increasing demands for more sustainable business practices.
The world’s wheels do not turn without steel. However, regardless of how critical, the industry must make a significant shift. Having a significant social and environmental impact, it is responsible for 7-9% of global carbon emissions. Legal compliance has become a bare minimum. In a market subject to increased scrutiny, stakeholders, especially customers and investors demand full transparency and demonstrating progress is a must. This is further emphasized by growing ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) compliance and reporting requirements. ResponsibleSteel™ is the steel industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative.
Certification to the ResponsibleSteel™ standard demonstrates compliance with the 12 principles. From raw materials to end users, it addresses social and environmental impact, ranging from climate change, natural resources and water management to human and labor rights.
Certification provides credible transparency and traceability toward key stakeholders. You gain market benefits and demonstrate progress and contributions toward the SDGs, such as Goal 13 Climate Action and Goal 12 Responsible Production and Consumption.
BenefitsShifting to more responsible practices enables benefits such as:
- Producers to meet the sustainability needs of their customers
- Improved responsible processing and production and reduce risk in the steel supply chain
- Leading producers to promote steel as a responsible material
- Sustainability goals regarding the availability of clean water
- Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- Creation of jobs that benefit individuals and communities
- Enablement of responsible patterns of production and consumption
- Differentiating your products from that of competitors
- Higher attractiveness to consumer facing industries with a green agenda, such as automotive
- Lowering of ESG risks and thereby increasing investor attractiveness
- Generating operational efficiencies
The ResponsibleSteel™ standard is the first international standard to set forth certifiable requirements for responsible processing and production of steel. The non-profit organization ResponsibleSteel™ is behind the standard and certification initiative.
The standard consists of 12 principles, covering:
- Principle 1. Corporate Leadership
- Principle 2. Social, Environmental and Governance Management Systems
- Principle 3. Occupational Health and Safety
- Principle 4. Labour Rights
- Principle 5. Human Rights
- Principle 6. Stakeholder Engagement and Communication
- Principle 7. Local Communities
- Principle 8. Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Principle 9. Noise, Emissions, Effluents and Waste
- Principle 10. Water Stewardship
- Principle 11. Biodiversity
- Principle 12. Decommissioning and Closure
It is applicable to operational steelmaking and related sites that process raw materials for steelmaking or that produce steel products. The standard does not apply to service providers, mine sites or to sites producing final products made with steel components. See more in the standard.
ResponsibleSteel™ is in the process of developing additional requirements for the responsible sourcing of input materials and greenhouse gas emissions. Certification against these additional requirements will only be possible if sites are also meeting the existing ResponsibleSteel™ Standard.
If sites are certified to other standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO 45001) where requirements overlap with the ResponsibleSteel™ standard, the respective reports can be integrated to support the certification audit.
How can DNV GL help?
- Gap Assessment
DNV GL offers independent gap assessment against the requirements of the Standard with the aim of helping sites to be prepared for their certification audit. It highlights areas where improvements are required for a site to be successful in their certification audit.
DNV GL has developed sector specific training to help interpret and provide guidance on what is expected at the certification audit. This is especially beneficial when pursuing third-party certification for the first time.
- Certification to the ResponsibleSteel™ standard
DNV GL is one of a few certification bodies approved by ResponsibleSteel™ to deliver initial certification and period surveillance audits to the standard.