Rio Tinto has introduced START, a sustainability label for aluminum based on blockchain technology. START helps customers meet consumer demand for transparency about where and how the products they buy are made. The aim is to enable end users to make informed decisions about the products they buy in order to contribute to a sustainable future and to differentiate end products based on their environmental, social and governance qualifications.
Customers receive a digital sustainability label – similar to a nutrition label on food and beverage packaging – with secure blockchain technology. It contains important information about the location where the aluminum was responsibly produced and covers ten criteria: carbon footprint; Water consumption; recycled content; Energy sources; Community investment; Security deposit; Diversity in leadership; Business integrity; Legal compliance; and transparency.
Example of a START sustainability label that is provided on request with every customer order
START is a significant step forward for the aluminum industry as the first of its kind to set a new standard for transparency, traceability and responsible production from mine to market. Our vision is that our customers can show their consumers the sustainability of the aluminum purchased from Rio Tinto in order to get the full value of our responsible production.
– Alf Barrios, CEO of Rio Tinto Aluminum
The START sustainability label is now available for aluminum purchased from Rio Tinto’s globally managed operation.
Through START, Rio Tinto will also provide technical expertise through a sustainability advisory service and support for customers who want to build their sustainability offerings, evaluate and improve performance, support procurement goals and gain access to green finance.
Across the aluminum business, Rio Tinto’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity is 60% below the industry average. In 2016, Rio Tinto launched RenewAl, the world’s first certified brand for low-carbon primary aluminum. As a founding member of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI), the company pioneered responsible production standards for the global industry and was the first manufacturer to offer ASI aluminum in 2018. Looking to the future, the ELYSIS joint venture is developing a new company further direct greenhouse emission-free aluminum smelting technology. (Previous post.)