Environmental Profile Report 2018

The European aluminium industry continues to decrease its environmental footprint across the value chain.

This European Aluminium Environmental Profile Report 2018 covers the environmental impact of the entire aluminium value chain in Europe, from metal supply - primary and recycling - to semi-fabrication - rolling, foil and extrusion. Based on 2015 production data collected from our members, the report provides accurate and reliable data on aluminium industry’s environmental performance in Europe and Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) datasets for the key process steps essential for calculating the environmental impact of products using aluminium.

The 2015 data demonstrate strong improvement by the industry. First, the environmental impact of the primary production has decreased significantly (by 21 percent for Global Warming Potential) while the environmental performance of the primary aluminium consumed in Europe has remained stable. For the semi-fabrication (rolling and extrusion) and the recycling industry, there has been a strong improvement in the environmental performance of those processes in Europe.

 

Key findings of the 2018 report

  • The carbon intensity of primary aluminium production in Europe decreased by 21% versus 2010 and by 55% versus 1990. 
  • The carbon intensity of the primary aluminium production in Europe is approximately 7kgCO2e per kg of aluminium produced compared to a global average of 18kgCO2e per kg of aluminium and a Chinese average of 20kgCO2e per kg.
  • There is a strong decrease of the carbon intensity of semi-fabrication processes in Europe: the carbon intensity for the aluminium rolling mill process decreased by 25% since 2010 and the carbon intensity for the extrusion process decreased by 11%.
  • The carbon intensity of process scrap recycling (remelting) in Europe decreased by 9% since 2010.
Visual - European carbon intensity of the primary aluminium production (1).png
Visual - Carbon intensity in Europe decreased (1).png

Commitment to improving our environmental performance

The European aluminium industry has been a leader in improving environmental performance for many years. Since 1990, the industry has reduced the carbon intensity of its primary production by more than half. This has led to Europe being able to boast one of the lowest primary production carbon footprints in the world; less than half the global average and almost one-third that of China. Looking to the future, our industry has set a number of voluntary targets in its Sustainability Roadmap towards 2025 to ensure, among others, the correct management of the production and transformation processes in view of safeguarding the environment.

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