Aluminium Stewardship Initiative announced that Groupe BEL has been certified against the ASI Performance Standard with a focus on Material Stewardship, and the ASI Chain of Custody Standard. The dual certification is for the aluminium-related activities at the Sablé-sur-Sarthe plant, and material stewardship related activities at Groupe BEL headquarters in France. Becoming the first-ever plant in the food industry to attain both ASI Performance and CoC standards, Sablé-sur-Sarthe produces more than 40,000 tonnes of cheese, including its historical brand KIRI. Half of the production of the plant is exported from France to over 90 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.The ASI Certification program was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process and is the only comprehensive voluntary sustainability standard initiative for the aluminium value chain. ASI Performance Standard certifications focusing on ‘material stewardship’ address issues such as product design, life cycle assessments, management of process scrap and collection and recycling of products at end-of-life.The ASI CoC Standard sets out requirements for the creation of a Chain of Custody for material that is produced and processed through the value chain into diverse downstream sectors. The implementation of ASI’s CoC Standard links verified practices at successive steps of the supply chain – certified under the ASI Performance Standard – to the products produced by ASI Certified Entities. The CoC Standard also confirms that appropriate policies and due diligence process are in place to identify and address critical issues, such as corruption, human rights abuses, materials originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas in the supply chain and support responsible sourcing.The independent, third-party audit of the Groupe BEL facility and activities was carried out by DNV Business Assurance Services UK Ltd.