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ResponsibleSteel™ - the sustainability standard for the steel industry

What is ResponsibleSteel?

The ResponsibleSteel Standard is the first comprehensive sustainability standard for the steel industry. The standard was developed through a multi-stakeholder approach, involving companies from the steel value chain, civil society groups and environmental organizations, among others.

The first audit according to the ResponsibleSteel Standard was carried out in February 2020 in Belgium by our internationally operating parent company, the AFNOR Group. The first audits in German-speaking countries were carried out by auditors from GUTcert.

12 Principles of ResponsibleSteel

Twelve defined principles lay the foundation for the evaluation of companies in the ResponsibleSteel Standard:

  1. Corporate Governance
  2. Social, environmental and governance management systems
  3. occupational health and safety
  4. Labour rights
  5. Human Rights
  6. Stakeholder involvement and communication
  7. Local communities
  8. Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
  9. Noise, emissions, effluents and waste
  10. Water management
  11. Biodiversity
  12. Decommissioning and closure

Why certification according to ResponsibleSteel?

Steel is the most widely used material worldwide and therefore plays an important role in the shift towards a more sustainable society. However, steel production is linked to many ethical, environmental and social impacts along the entire value chain. One example:

Its share of global CO2emissions is currently around 8%. (Source: Responsible Steel) It is therefore particularly important that this industry leads by example in order to facilitate a real turnaround in sustainability.

Webinar: Basics, advantages and certification

In our introductory webinar you will learn more about the origin, the vision and the mission of ResponsibleSteelTM . We explain the certification process and show you the synergies with the classic management systems according to ISO 14001 & ISO 45001

What are the advantages of ResponsibleSteel certification?

• Improving corporate image through external validation of environmentally and socially responsible business practices
• Assumption of a pioneering role and thus differentiation from competitors on the market
• Fulfilment of the requirements from the own supply chain and increasing requirements due to political framework conditions
• Convincing investors to pay more attention to sustainability aspects
• Risk minimization in the area of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)
• Strengthening mutual understanding between companies and stakeholders through the audit process, which actively involves stakeholders

Services of GUTcert in the field of ResponsibleSteel


A pre-audit is voluntary and has the function of preparing you for the certification audit in the best possible way. You gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific requirements of the ResponsibleSteel standard and get to know our auditors. As a result, you will receive a report showing any remaining gaps (GAP analysis) in your management system.

Certification audit ResponsibleSteel

As the first accredited certification body in Germany, we may certify your company according to the ResponsibleSteel Standard. In the certification process, you benefit from the experience that GUTcert and our auditors have gained in the projects already carried out.

How does ResponsibleSteel certification work?

Certification essentially consists of a self-assessment by the site managers, a stage 1 audit and the certification audit (stage 2).

The basis for the certification process is the information in the RS ImplementationInstructions tool, which is checked during the two audits.
The certification cycle is 36 months, whereby, in contrast to the classic management systems, only one review audit takes place (approx. 18 months after the initial certification).

Extraordinary audits may be considered if there is suspicion between two audits that criteria of the standard are not being met.

certification cycle for responsiblesteel

What does ResponsibleSteel certification cost?

Audit costs are primarily based on the scope of the audit. This is based on a complexity assessment and the number of employees at the site. The number of audit days is specified in the RS Assurance Manual.

Here you will find the current version of the RS Assurance Manual.
Simply call us or send us an e-mail if you would like more information. We will also be happy to provide you with a non-binding offer.

Frequently asked questions

FAQ about the ResponsibleSteel Standard and certification