A new initiative has been launched by the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) with a focus on transparent and public tracking of its member companies’ intention to reduce, and developments in the reduction of, greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative is being launched at COP 28, or the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, in Dubai. Member companies will have their ambition and progress surrounding greenhouse gas emissions tracked and reported, and the total global greenhouse gas emissions of the aluminium industry will also be reported on a public and annual basis.

Its signatories include Aluminerie Alouette, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Alcoa Corporation, Alumina Limited, Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA), Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), Hindalco Industries Limited, Norsk Hydro, Mitsubishi Corporation, Rio Tinto Aluminium, Rusal, Sohar Aluminium and South32. The greenhouse gas emissions of all these companies combined is calculated at 221 million tonnes.

IAI believes that a reduction in emissions calls for investment in new equipment and technology, both at a company and facility level. As such, it calls for a long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 31st December 2024, ideally setting a net-zero target by 2050, and a clear plan to achieving these goals.

Furthermore, it recommends that an interim greenhouse gas emission reduction milestone is implemented, preferably by 2030, to make sure that early progress can be tracked. Progress should be disclosed annually, IAI continues, including any facilities referring to the IAI Good Practice for Calculation of Primary Aluminium, IAI Carbon Footprint Methodology, and/or the IAI Guidelines on Transparency – Aluminium Scrap for their calculations.

In turn, the initiative is intended to inspire ambition across the aluminium sector and enable transparent tracking of its progress. It is designed to complement a range of IAI’s activities and programmes to guide the industry towards global climate targets.

“The aluminium industry is committed to rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and acknowledges that investment and action is required to achieve global goals,” said IAI Secretary General Miles Prosser. “The IAI has consistently managed programmes to foster collaboration and action on sustainability and this initiative will drive ambition and action to decarbonize aluminium supply chains.”

Satish Pai, managing director of Hindalco Industries and chair at the International Aluminium Institute, commented: “We gladly welcome the initiative to be transparent on GHGs. Hindalco has been a leader in sustainable metal manufacturing for years.

“Because of its infinite recyclability, aluminium is ideal for circularity – the carbon footprint of recycled metal is just 5% of primary smelting. We are among the global leaders in circularity with our subsidiary Novelis using recycled metal for 61% of its total aluminium usage, over 2.3 million tons last fiscal year.

“To reduce emissions, we are advancing innovative clean energy solutions in primary smelting – such as renewable hybrid power with pumped hydro storage. Among the first in the aluminium sector, this project is on course to deliver round-the-clock carbon-free power to our smelters, starting with 100MW.

“Our emission initiatives are a key aspect of our broader sustainability vision, which also includes audacious targets on reducing water and waste and protecting communities and biodiversity.”

“Innovate for the benefit of our environment than actively contributing to global climate change fight are flagship commitments for Aluminerie Alouette,” continued Claude Gosselin, president and CEO at Aluminerie Alouette. “The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) and its members are leading by example, emphasising the duty of all within the value chain.

“Ultimately, aluminium is a solution to climate change. We therefore need to focus on our product, which is infinitely recyclable, while working upstream on new technologies and operational changes to further reduce GHG emissions.

“The expertise of our employees and our mastery of processes enable us to produce aluminium with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world. We don’t intend to stop there.”

Ali Al Baqali, chief executive officer of Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), stated: “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and as the CEO of Alba, I believe it is our responsibility to take action. We are committed to do our part in addressing this global challenge and driving positive change.

“We are constantly exploring new ways to minimize our environmental impact and contribute to the fight against climate change while at the same time implement sustainable practices. But our commitment goes beyond internal actions; we are actively engaging with stakeholders and collaborating with industry peers as collective action is central to achieve meaningful progress.”

“The world needs aluminum for the transition to a lower carbon world, and we are ready to meet the expected increase in demand for low-carbon aluminum,” said Alcoa’s president and chief executive officer, Bill Oplinger. “Alcoa has an ambition to achieve net zero by 2050, and we’re working diligently to get there with mid-term goals while also boosting the percentage of renewable energy to power our smelters.”

Alumina Limited CEO Mike Ferraro added: “Alumina Limited continues to focus on transparency and reporting of its emissions profile whilst striving to achieve its net zero by 2050 ambition, and we are pleased to commit to the IAI Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This commitment not only aligns with Alumina Limited’s own targets but demonstrates that the aluminium industry as a whole understands the importance of transparency and taking meaningful actions to decarbonize.

“Alumina Limited continues to emphasize the key physical attributes of aluminium, including corrosion resistance, ductility, impermeability, recyclability, and low density. We believe these attributes convey that aluminium has an important role to play in facilitating a low carbon transition.”

“Aluminum plays a very relevant role in current and future global challenges, especially energy transition and combating climate change,” said Luciano Alves, CEO of Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA). “At CBA, we already offer low-carbon aluminum, with emissions of 3.03 tons of CO2e per ton of liquid aluminum produced, 4 times below current world average, but we believe we can always do more.

“For this reason, we are committed to reducing our emissions by 40% from 2019 to 2030, from mining to primary products, and we have been engaging our value chain to act in line with ESG best practices. For us, a more sustainable world is also more collaborative.

“Therefore, IAI initiatives are essential for us to pursue, together, all pathways towards emissions reduction, an urgent matter for our planet.”

According to Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, chief executive officer of Emirates Global Aluminium: “Aluminium is an essential material for the development of a more sustainable society. It also matters how sustainably aluminium is made, and EGA is committed to reaching net zero by 2050.

“Accelerating decarbonization right across the industry is key if aluminium is to reach its full potential to contribute to human progress. That is why EGA strongly supports the International Aluminium Institute in this industry-wide decarbonization initiative and has signed up to the initiative’s requirements.”

Hilde Merete Aasheim, CEO of Norsk Hydro, commented: “Aluminium is a critical material for the green transition. However, the transition will only be green if the materials are produced with the lowest carbon footprint possible – with a minimal impact on nature and people.

“Hydro set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050, and we are well on track to deliver. We are supporting the International Aluminium Institute’s initiative for an industry-wide decarbonization path.”

“As a member of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), we are pleased to join IAI’s GHG Initiative, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aluminium sector,” said Hiroshi Nakayama, general manager of Aluminium Department Mitsubishi Corporation. “Participating in the initiative will enable us to enhance our competitiveness, innovation and resilience in the global market while creating value for our stakeholders and the environment.

“We are proud to be part of the IAI and its vision of a sustainable aluminium industry.”

Engineer Said Al Masoudi, CEO of Sohar Aluminium, concluded: “At Sohar Aluminium, we strongly believe that working together with all concerned parties is essential to reduce the overall impact on the environment and ensure a sustainable future for our generations to come. As part of our efforts, we are aligned with the Sultanate of Oman’s commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050 while interim targets are being set for 2030 and 2040.

“Signing up to the GHG initiative by IAI is another step in our commitment towards decarbonization and transparency in our journey towards an organization that has and will Deliver Aluminium Responsibly.”

It comes as the Mission Possible Partnership’s decarbonization strategies for the aviation, trucking, shipping, and steel industries were backed by over 200 industry leaders in the steel and aluminium sectors at the end of last year.

More recently, Amcor Capsules has reported its carbon reduction progress, which includes lowering the carbon footprint of its STELVIN aluminium screw cap range by up to 35% using low-carbon primary aluminium.

It has also worked with Aludium to produce a certified and independently verified ‘low-carbon’ aluminium product for use in screwcaps. It is said to reduce carbon footprint by over 50% compared to the average for primary aluminium sold in Europe.

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