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Responsible aluminium foil production according to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s ASI Performance Standard

Responsible aluminium foil production according to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s ASI Performance Standard
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SYMETAL S.A.

Symetal has been involved in the production of aluminium foil products, mainly used in packaging solutions for the food, pharmaceutical and tobacco industries. With more than 40 years’ experience and expertise in aluminium foil rolling and converting processing, it offers tailor-made and innovative, high value-added solutions. Symetal is highly export-oriented, with more than 90% of its sales carried out in around 70 countries. Being a strategic partner to the largest consumer, food and pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers, Symetal leverages on its technical expertise and implements a continuous development approach, following a business model that is based on sustainability and green economy principles.

www.symetal.gr

 


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Objective Action

The integration of sustainable development principles into Symetal’s corporate governance model through the implementation, certification, implementation, and continuous development of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s ASI Performance Standard.

Symetal has been participating, as a member, in the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) since 2019, aiming to certify its processes in terms of responsible aluminium foil production, and demonstrating its commitment to environmental protection, sustainable development, and responsible corporate governance.

As a global initiative, ASI works together with producers, users, and stakeholders in the aluminium value chain to collaboratively achieve “responsible aluminium production”.

Symetal's participation in the ASI initiative and its certification according to the ASI Performance Standard reflects the company’s commitment to the principles of sustainable development and its integrated ESG strategy for the responsible supply, production, and management of aluminium.

 

Target Audience

The certified ASI Performance Standard is applied in Symetal’s both production facilities, and concerns both the company and its stakeholders: employees, customers, local community, the society in general.

 

Duration

The preparation of the System design and compliance procedures with the ASI Performance Standard commenced in 2020 followed by the certification in January 2021. The application of the ASI Performance Standard is ongoing and aims at the continuous improvement of the company's performance in ESG matters.


Description

Symetal's commitment to implementing ESG actions and adopting a responsible production model is long and strong. The development of a holistic program of Symetal’s sustainable development and its certification, by the strictest industry sustainability standard of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), documents in a practical way the company’s commitment towards this direction.

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative is the latest development in the aluminium value chain. It was established as a standards setting and certification organisation, in matters related to responsible aluminium production, with the objective of participation of companies with high performance in sustainability issues and the eventual creation of responsible supply chains by these companies. Through the publication of the two standards (ASI Performance Standard and ASI Chain of Custody Standard), it provides a coherent framework where producers, users, and stakeholders in the aluminium value chain are committed to responsible production, supply, and management.

The ASI Performance Standard, which Symetal has successfully implemented and according to which has been certified, addresses all the ESG issues that apply to the industry sector. By combining all available practices, the standard includes a total of 59 sustainability criteria, for each aspect of an organisation's ESG performance.

Symetal's ESG strategy, as adapted through the implementation of the ASI Performance Standard, provides a complete, coherent, and structured program for integrating sustainability criteria into its corporate governance model. It covers all its activities, more specifically:

  • On Environmental Protection issues (E), with tangible, measurable and feasible plans for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the rational management of emissions and waste, the rational use of water and the protection of water resources, as well as biodiversity protection.
  • On Social Responsibility issues (S), by considering the company's practices and by evaluating its supply chain in terms of the protection of Human Rights, non-discrimination, the protection of women and labour rights, as well as the promotion of the safety and health of company employees, visitors, and stakeholders.
  • On Corporate Governance issues (G), by focusing on good governance with practical commitment to protection against corruption, legislative compliance in every aspect of its activity, carefully reporting and investigating complaints, formulation, and implementation of ESG policies, programs to reduce the environmental footprint of its products and the development of eco-friendly products and solutions, the implementation of a recycling strategy and initiatives for the the collection of aluminium products at the end of their life cycle.

The design of the System and the procedures in compliance with the requirements of the ASI Performance Standard came to fruition with the active participation of all departments/ divisions within the company and the implementation of these procedures takes place on a daily basis through the increased employee participation (e.g., implementation of corporate policies, submission of improvement proposals on ESG issues, etc.).

The evaluation of the System’s effectiveness is performed by an independent certification body through a pioneering open process, with the participation of internal and external stakeholders (employees, local community representatives, customers, suppliers, and others). These participants are requested to evaluate, without the company’s participation, its performance in matters related to Environment, Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance (ESG). That way, Symetal’s certification receives extensive evaluation, both in terms of its practices and in terms of the impact on its stakeholders.

The ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) strategy according to the ASI Performance Standard is a dynamic model that is constantly evolving. At its core finds itself the need for continuous improvement, goal setting, and action to achieve these goals. The performance monitoring by internal and external participants and the periodic inspection by an independent body strengthens the company's commitment towards this direction.

The adoption of sustainable development principles through the implementation of the most demanding sustainability model by the entire supply chain and the aluminium value chain is expected to be the dominant trend in responsible aluminium production and to shape the way the material is produced, traded, recycled and reused, based on the principles of circular economy. Activating as many companies in the industry as possible will enhance the cumulative benefit of using aluminium in tackling climate change, and Symetal's active involvement in this is a given.


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Impact on Society

A significant result is Symetal’s certification according to the ASI Performance Standard, as well as the existing company’s preparation to pursue the certification according to the ASI Chain of Custody Standard (ASI’s second standard).

The certification process according to the ASI Performance Standard was completed in January 2022 and therefore measurable results of this action will be available next year.

The implementation of management system procedures, in which all employees participated, aims at Symetal’s continuous improvement in ESG issues.

By aligning its ESG strategy with the ASI Performance Standard, Symetal ensures the successful implementation of the principles of responsible aluminium foil production. Every step of the supply, production and recycling of materials is governed by the application of sustainability criteria, including:

  • The supply of Raw Materials and Metals is made only by suppliers who undertake commitments as per ESG criteria. All the company’s largest suppliers have been subjected to Due Diligence and the process is extended to the rest of its suppliers.
  • The environmental footprint of its products is evaluated by the application of structured Life Cycle Assessments and goals are set for further reduction through the application of specialised tools and the implementation of procedures in product design.

In a broader context, the certification of Symetal’s ESG strategy according to the requirements of the ASI Performance Standard represents a joint commitment with the world's leading producers who have taken similar action towards sustainable aluminium production.



Initiative Location

Symetal’s aluminium foil rolling facility in Oinofyta, Viotia and aluminium foil converting facility in Mandra, Attica. The scope of the ASI Performance Standard covers Symetal’s entire range of activities.


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Working with Organization

The design, development, and implementation of the ASI Performance Standard, as well as the formulation of Symetal’s ESG strategy, was carried out with the participation and cooperation of executives and groups of employees from various departments within the company.

To improve its products environmental performance, Symetal, which specialises in aluminium rolling for foil manufacturing and in manufacturing of flexible packaging materials from aluminium foil and/ or paper, has partnered with one of the leading overseas consultants, Sphera Solutions Inc., to conduct Life Cycle Assessment studies (LCA) of its products. These studies provide substantiated evidence that the company can make decisions to further enhance the positive impact of its products on the environment.

The audit for certification according to the requirements of the ASI Performance Standard was performed by DNV GL.


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Workers Participation

The design, development, and implementation of the ASI Performance Standard, as well as the formulation of Symetal’s ESG strategy, was carried out with the participation and cooperation of executives and groups of employees, from various departments within the company.

Symetal’s people participate, implement, and integrate - in practice - all the standard’s requirements, through the daily implementation of procedures and resource-saving programs, participation in councils, submitting their proposals and their overall activity in their area of responsibility.


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Benefits for Οrganization

Symetal aims to implement a modern model of corporate governance, in line with the requirements of sustainable development, responsible production, and circular economy principles. Its ASI Performance Standard certification ensures its practical commitment towards society's demand regarding effective action for sustainable development and protection of the environment against climate change.

The benefit resulting ASI certification is twofold:

(a) The promotion of Symetal as a sustainability pillar in the aluminium industry, with an internationally strict and recognisable certification. The publication of the result of its compliance with each of the 59 ESG criteria of the ASI Performance Standard is a practical documentation of the organisation's commitment to sustainable development.

(b) Based on ASI’s objective, certified facilities, such as Symetal, establish responsible supply chains, where each link has been evaluated according to the same strict sustainability standards and its performance is documented. Among them, it is possible to procure, process and sell ASI-certified material, as the result of best available sustainability practices. ASI material is a value-added product that only top aluminium companies can provide to their customers. This capability ranks Symetal among the world's leading companies in the aluminium value chain.

Additional benefits that the company receives from this certification include:

  • Satisfaction of customers, partners and employees, local community, and other stakeholders.
  • Increasing the company’s competitive advantage at a sectoral, national, and international level.
  • Sealing its commitment towards sustainable development.
  • Improved rating based on ESG criteria from stock market analysts and investors.



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