ResponsibleSteel's vision is to “maximise steel’s contribution to a sustainable society”. To achieve this, its certification programme must eventually cover the entire steel supply chain. The ResponsibleSteel Standard applies to steel production and processing and to the sourcing of input materials. The steel sector relies heavily on mined materials and there are many programmes that define environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements for responsible mining. The most effective and efficient way for ResponsibleSteel to address responsible sourcing is to recognise input material programmes that credibly verify the ESG performance of suppliers and to build its responsible sourcing requirements for ‘Certified Steel’ on these programmes.
ResponsibleSteel has developed a recognition methodology that directs how input material programmes are assessed for the purpose of recognition. The methodology covers the review of a programme’s standard, of its governance and management structures, its assurance and oversight mechanisms as well as any rules on claims and labels that participating entities may use. ResponsibleSteel has taken such a broad view of the programmes since a strong standard on its own will not deliver positive change on the ground. It needs to be supported by robust procedures and operational practices to ensure effective implementation.
ResponsibleSteel’s recognition methodology was piloted with Bettercoal, the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) and Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM). These three programmes were chosen for piloting since their scope is relevant for steel supply chains and because they approached us to seek recognition. The draft methodology and the pilot assessments were published for stakeholder consultation in October 2021. ResponsibleSteel also discussed the initial findings and the methodology in 1:1 calls with stakeholders and with the assessed programmes. The recognition methodology, assessment results, conditions and recommendations were approved by the ResponsibleSteel Board in May 2022.
ResponsibleSteel recognition assessments are based on a review of programme documentation. A comprehensive review of how well the written rules and procedures of a programme are implemented in practice for each of their participants is beyond what ResponsibleSteel can deliver.
Going forward, ResponsibleSteel will work in partnership with the recognised programmes to help ensure that their standards, procedures and rules are implemented as stated and that any recognition conditions are adhered to. ResponsibleSteel is also committed to assessing additional input material programmes that are deemed relevant for the steel sector. All programmes that achieve ResponsibleSteel recognition will be listed on the ResponsibleSteel website together with any conditions that are attached to recognition.
Below, we are providing interested stakeholders with the recognition methodology, assessment results and a summary paper containing profiles of the Bettercoal, IRMA and TSM programmes and outlining the conditions and recommendations that are attached to recognition.
ResponsibleSteel methodology for the recognition of other programmes:
ResponsibleSteel recognition decisions: BetterCoal, IRMA, TSM (July 2022):
Bettercoal Final Assessment Spreadsheet:
IRMA Final Assessment Spreadsheet:
TSM Final Assessment Spreadsheet: