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Carbon clarity

Corporate action play a key role in building a sustainable future

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En+ Group leading the way to the low-carbon economy

We recognise that, as a historically large producer of greenhouse gas emissions, the aluminium industry must take transformative steps to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement. This transition to a low-carbon economy begins with a drive towards transparency across the sector, creating an incentive for producers to reduce their carbon footprint and helping customers at the forefront of a green economy make sustainable decisions about the materials they buy.

A low carbon economy demands low carbon aluminium

Aluminium is at crossroads: embrace a low-carbon future as metal of tomorrow or remain stuck in past on wrong side of history
  • The industry alone is responsible for over 3% of global carbon emissions1
  • In 1990, the industry produced 350 million tonnes of CO2 — now it is responsible for 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to all of the emissions produced by Japan in a year or equal to 400 million cars driving each 20,000 kilometres2
  • Aluminium smelters consume 4% of the world’s annual electrical power output3. However, 74% of global primary aluminium is produced with non-renewable energy4
  • Making 100% of aluminium produced by 2050 low carbon will allow us to reduce emissions by 62% of the current level, bringing the industry into alignment with the Paris Agreement5
At present, just 20 companies are responsible for 100% of global greenhouse gas emissions disclosure. There is a huge discrepancy between the cleanest and highest polluting producers. This needs to change if we are to transform the industry.

Why transparency
matters

Producing aluminium is a multi-stage process. To understand the impact of the material customers need full sight of every step. Not all aluminium is created equal. There is huge discrepancy between the cleanest and highest polluting producers. Over 75% of the energy used for European aluminium is renewable. Leading brands average less than 4 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of metal. In China, 90% of aluminium production is powered with coal. Higher emitting producers create closer to 20 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of metal.


Relative Greenhouse Gas Contribution of Aluminium Production Processes

Kg CO2e / Kg AL

Bauxite mining

Alumina refining

Anode/paste production

Smelting - (indirect) electrolysis energy

Smelting - (direct) electrolysis process

Ingot casting

Transportation of materials

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Consumers are
demanding change

En+ partnered with YouGov on a consumer survey to understand consumer demand for transparency and low-carbon products. Our findings showed a strong appetite for more carbon disclosure and that consumers are increasingly looking for information on carbon footprint they cannot find
  • What public appetite exists for low-carbon products
  • How much consumers currently understand about the carbon footprint of the products they buy
  • The demand from consumers for more information on the emissions produced in the manufacture of their products

Our key findings

UK consumers believe companies should be obliged to share the carbon footprints of their products

7 out of 10

UK consumers said they would start looking for information on the carbon content of the products they buy

45%

UK consumers care about buying products with a low carbon footprint

60%

UK consumers would be more likely to purchase lower carbon products if information on their carbon footprint were easily accessible

Nearly 70%

UK consumers who were not satisfied with the carbon content information on package

70%

A call to action

  • A global precedent

    As a global exchange, the LME can set an important precedent for carbon disclosure and encourage others such as the Shanghai Futures Exchange to follow suit.
  • An example for contracts across the industry

    At present, carbon disclosure by aluminium producers occurs voluntarily and on a contract-by-contract basis. By setting a clear example for the industry, a low-carbon asset class on the LME would increase pressure for systematic carbon reporting not just on the exchange but also in private contacts.
  • A credible standard for low carbon

    LME disclosure rules and definitions for low carbon would provide a clear standard for the aluminium producers to meet, allowing producers to better target their decarbonisation plans and helping customers select the most sustainable materials.

En+ Group encourages all stakeholders in the aluminium industry to drive transparency through a number of steps below

What you can do

Producers

Write to the London Metal Exchange notifying them that you support greater carbon disclosure are a willing to join meetings to agree new rules.

Join the World Economic Forum’s ‘Aluminium for Climate’ initiative, which is seeking to bring producers and customers together to develop a roadmap for aluminium’s low carbon transition.
Producers

Customers

Make your voice heard. Publicly discuss your support for greater carbon disclosure and join talks through the ‘Aluminium for Climate’ initiative.

Demand transparency on carbon emissions from your direct suppliers. Many aluminium contracts include some degree of carbon disclosure, but making this a principle of negotiation can drive standards across the industry.
Customers

Investors

Integrate carbon disclosure requirements into investment criteria.

Engage with businesses to clarify the standard of disclosure required for investment and support companies on the path to meeting those standards with examples of best practice.
Investors

En+ Group is working continually to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations

En+ Group is working continually to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations as part of the commitment to the shift towards a low-carbon economy. Approximately 75% of carbon emissions from aluminium production come from the smelting process, of which 60% result from generating energy to power the smelters.6 These are called Level 1 emissions.7 Unlike Level 2 emissions, these can be measured by all major aluminium producers, including those with a low level of vertical integration.

  • 2.52 tCO2/tAl

    Average for ALLOW

  • 2.56 tCO2/tAl

    Average for all of the Group’s aluminium

  • 12.5 tCO2/tAl

    World average carbon emissions8

Sustainability is at the heart of the En+ strategy and currently the Group’s power generation and aluminium production facilities have among the lowest carbon footprints in the world.

Related news

  1. Using the global average of 16.4 ton CO2/ton primary aluminium (18 ton CO2/ton primary but excluding scope 3 emissions) and 30% of demand met with recycled aluminium, total CO2 emissions from the aluminium industry can be estimated at 1.2bn tons per year (World Economic Forum, “Shaping the agenda for net-zero aluminium”, 3 Sep 2019). Expressed as a proportion of global CO2 emissions for 2018, which were 37.1bn (Nature, Jeff Tollefson, “Global industrial carbon emissions to reach all-time high in 2018, 7 Dec 2018), this accounts for 3.2% of the total
  2. World Economic Forum, “Shaping the agenda for net-zero aluminium”, 3 Sep 2019
  3. World Aluminium reported 867,210 GWh of power consumption from primary aluminium smelting in 2018, (“Primary aluminium smelting power consumption”, 31 Jul 2019). IEA reported 26,672 TWh of electricity generation in 2018 (“Global Energy & CO2 Status Report”, p.25)
  4. CRU, RUSAL
  5. CRU, RUSAL
  6. IAI 2018
  7. As defined in the Aluminium Carbon Footprint Technical Support Document - Level 1: Emissions from aluminium electrolysis, aluminium ingot casting, anode/paste production, as well as emissions from electricity generation heat production associate with these processes
  8. IAI 2018