In Spain, sites in Asturias, Etxebarri, Lesaka and Sagunto successfully passed the third-party audit carried out by DNV GL and based on the ResponsibleSteel™ standard, which is the first global certification initiative for the steel industry focused on social, environmental and corporate governance (ESG) aspects.
And in France, ArcelorMittal sites in Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches du Rhône) and Saint Chély d'Apcher (Lozère) also successfully completed the audit process, which was carried out by international auditing firm AFNOR, which specialises in assessment and certification services.
The audits are designed to verify that a steel site’s activities meet a set of rigorously defined standards across a broad range of social, environmental and governance criteria and stakeholder relations, including:
- Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Water Stewardship and Biodiversity
- Human Rights and Labour Rights
- Community Relations and Business Integrity
The standard is based on 12 Principles which, in turn, include a variety of criteria and requirements. To achieve ResponsibleSteel™ certification, each site must undergo a rigorous third-party audit, with the resulting report reviewed by an independent Certification Committee which makes the final certification decision.
Commenting, Philippe Meyran, CEO of ArcelorMittal’s Asturias Cluster, said: “Obtaining ResponsibleSteel™ certification reflects our commitment to our people, the Community and the environment in which we operate. Society’s expectations are growing and require us to be part of the solution to ensure we leave a more sustainable planet for future generations. Steel is the most widely used material in the world and those using it in sectors such as transport, automotive, infrastructure, packaging, construction, energy and household appliances increasingly require the assurance that the materials they use have been obtained through sourcing and production processes based on responsible practice. The goal of ResponsibleSteel™ is to satisfy such requirements. This certification distinguishes us from our competitors and endorses the path we have undertaken to decarbonise our business and make it sustainable for future generations. This is what responsible management is about, management that combines economic development, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and transparent governance, in order to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable future for people and the planet”.
Bruno Ribo, CEO of ArcelorMittal Méditerranée, said: "This certification recognises the work of our teams on biodiversity, safety at work, but also the environment, decarbonisation and equal opportunities...It is not only a recognition, it is also a long-term commitment to pursue substantive actions that are positive for people as well as for the planet and to develop our relationships with all stakeholders, our employees and partners, as well as the people living near our plants."
Acting CEO of ResponsibleSteel, Ali Lucas, said: “We are very proud to award the ArcelorMittal Asturias Cluster and ArcelorMittal Méditerranée with the company’s first ResponsibleSteel certificates issued in France and Spain. These sites have worked very hard to fulfil the 12 Principles of the ResponsibleSteel Standard. It is no easy task – we believe building a responsible steel sector requires a comprehensive approach encompassing a range of criteria across the ESG spectrum. It isn’t enough to only focus on reduced carbon emissions. Certified sites must also ensure that they are fully aligned with our other sustainability objectives, for example, ensuring good water stewardship, creating a healthy and safe workplace, safeguarding labour rights, and engaging with local communities and other stakeholders. We heartily congratulate the ArcelorMittal Asturias Cluster and ArcelorMittal Méditerranée on this momentous achievement.”
ArcelorMittal achieved its first ResponsibleSteel site certifications in July last year, when sites in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg announced that they were the first steel plants to achieve the certification globally, in July 2021.