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Rio Tinto launches START: the first sustainability label for aluminum using blockchain technology

Rio Tinto has launched START, a sustainability label for aluminum based on blockchain technology. START will help customers meet the demand from consumers for transparency on where and how the products they purchase are made. It aims to empower end-users to make informed choices about the products they buy, enabling them to contribute to a sustainable future, and to differentiate between end products based on their environmental, social and governance credentials.

Customers will receive a digital sustainability label—similar to a nutrition label found on food and drink packaging—using secure blockchain technology. It will provide key information about the site where the aluminum was responsibly produced, covering ten criteria: carbon footprint; water use; recycled content; energy sources; community investment; safety performance; diversity in leadership; business integrity; regulatory compliance; and transparency.


Sample START Sustainability Label to be provided upon request with each sales order

START is a significant step forward for the aluminum industry as the first offering of this kind, setting a new standard on transparency, traceability and responsible production from mine to market. Our vision is that our customers can showcase the sustainability of the aluminum they purchase from Rio Tinto to their consumers, delivering full value from our responsible production.

—Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios

The START sustainability label is now available for aluminum purchased from Rio Tinto’s managed operations globally.

Through START, Rio Tinto will also provide technical expertise through a sustainability advisory service and support for customers looking to build their sustainability offerings, benchmark and improve performance, support sourcing goals and access to green financing.

Across its aluminum operations, Rio Tinto’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity is 60% lower than the industry average. In 2016, Rio Tinto launched RenewAl, the world’s first certified low-CO2 primary aluminum brand. It has helped to pioneer responsible production standards for the global industry as a founding member of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI), becoming the first producer to offer ASI Aluminum in 2018. Looking to the future, the ELYSIS Joint Venture is further developing a new direct greenhouse-emissions-free aluminum smelting technology. (Earlier post.)


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