ResponsibleSteel announces world’s first certified steelmaker in the US

PITTSBURGH – United States Steel Corporation (“U. S. Steel”) announced today that it that its Big River Steel mill in Osceola, Arkansas has achieved the first-ever ResponsibleSteel™ site certification in North America.

USSteel’s Big River Steel mill in Osceola, AR is the very first steel mill in North America to achieve Site Certification from ResponsibleSteel™, the industry’s first global certification initiative for responsible sourcing, production of steel.

Big River Steel received the site certification after SRI Quality System Registrar (SRI) conducted an independent third-party audit and determined the mill met the stringent requirements of the ResponsibleSteel Standard, the industry’s only global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative. The rigorous audit consisted of gathering comprehensive materials, onsite visits and worker and stakeholder interviews.

The ResponsibleSteel Standard is based on 12 principles with a wide range of criteria covering topics such as: health and safety, greenhouse gas emissions, water stewardship and biodiversity, human rights, labor rights and community relations. It sets a global benchmark for leading practices in environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibility for steel production.

As an innovative steel producer, Big River Steel is setting a new gold standard for North America. Customers want rigorous standards that have been independently verified to help them achieve their own sustainability goals, and ResponsibleSteel provides the common platform for all assets of the steel value chain.

S.T.E.E.L. Principles – Safety First, Trust and Respect, Environmental Stewardship, Excellence and Accountability, and Lawful and Ethical Conduct—represent the core foundation of U. S. Steel and align with ResponsibleSteel’s 12 principles. This certification under ResponsibleSteel demonstrates our commitment to keep raising the bar on providing high grades of steel more sustainably and to keep operating ethically.

“We are thrilled to be the first steel company in North America to achieve ResponsibleSteel certification for our Big River Steel site,” U. S. Steel President & CEO David B. Burritt said. “This marks an important milestone on our journey to build a more sustainable future for our customers, company, colleagues, communities, and the planet.”

Burritt continued, “Congratulations to the Big River Steel team for earning this certification. It is a direct result of executing our Best for All℠ strategy and reimagining sustainable steelmaking. It’s a tremendous testament to their hard work and dedication.”

Alison Lucas, acting CEO of ResponsibleSteel, added “We are delighted that U. S. Steel’s Big River site has become the first site in North America to successfully pass an independent audit against the ResponsibleSteel Standard – the global sustainability standard for the steel sector. This is a significant achievement. Our Standard, developed by the only international multi-stakeholder steel initiative, ensures that steelmaking sites comply with a comprehensive selection of criteria that reflect the full breadth of the ESG spectrum.”

Lucas continued, “The certification of a site demonstrates the commitment of a steelmaker to building a more responsible steel sector. It stresses the importance of not only taking steps towards decarbonization but also of prioritizing the health and safety of workers and operating with the utmost respect for human rights and labor rights and care for our natural environment.”

Lucas concluded, “As one of the largest steel-producing countries globally, getting a steelmaker in the U.S. certified is crucial. We look forward to working with U. S. Steel during the next phase, certified steel, which will not only ensure that steel is responsibly produced but responsibly sourced as well.”

Christopher Lake, President of SRI Registrar, the company that conducted the third-party audit, added, “ResponsibleSteel is a comprehensive approach to sustainability for steel companies that requires a rigorous and thorough audit process. Our assessment team was impressed by the dedication of the Big River Steel team and the overwhelmingly positive stakeholder input.”

Lake continued, “Certification to the ResponsibleSteel Standard demonstrates a commitment by Big River Steel to manage environmental impacts, care for employees and the surrounding community, and be transparent about their goals and performance.”

The audit identified three areas that will require further improvement from Big River Steel. Two of these are related to paid annual leave and paid maternity leave. The ResponsibleSteel Standard aligns with the International Labour Organization (ILO) on these two issues. The United States has not ratified the related ILO Conventions, therefore U.S.-based companies grant paid annual leave and maternity leave to their employees differently. ResponsibleSteel will consult with stakeholders on how these two requirements should be applied in the United States. More information on U. S. Steel’s sustainability commitments can be found at www.ussteel.com.

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