Luxembourg-headquartered steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal today announced plans to introduce a new sustainability programme across Europe.

The twelve-month programme is aimed at securing ResponsibleSteel site certification for all ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products sites. According to ArcelorMittal, the programme will enable each site to prove that their production processes meet rigorously defined standards across a broad range of social, environmental and governance criteria.

Indeed, ResponsibleSteel is the industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative, dedicated to defining and promoting responsible practice, aimed at improving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, water stewardship and biodiversity, human rights and labour rights and community relations and business integrity.

The standard is based on twelve principles with a variety of criteria and underlying requirements. To be awarded with ResponsibleSteel certification, each site will undergo a rigorous third-party audit with an independent Certification Committee making the final certification decision.

Geert Van Poelvoorde, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, commented: “Responsible production techniques and high ethical and business standards have become increasingly important to our customers and consumers. It’s at the heart of how we do business, giving our customers the reassurance that we meet their sustainability expectations by meeting carbon, environmental and social standards at every stage of productions”. He added: “Given the strong investments we have already making towards low carbon and environmental standards across our sites, I’m confident that we should secure certification in each of our Flat Products sites within the timeframe”.

The first wave of auditing includes sites in Belgium, Germany, Spain and France with others to follow. After the initial phase, further ArcelorMittal sites around the world will be part of the programme.

In 2020, ResponsibleSteel will launch a standard for the certification of steel products, which will include stringent requirements for raw materials supply chain. ArcelorMittal has confirmed that it will continue to play an active role in developing this aspect of the programme.