16 NOVEMBER 2021

Environmental Profile Report for the Aluminium Refining Industry

New report underpins CO2 reduction benefit of aluminium recycling


Complementing its Environmental Profile Report published in 2018, European Aluminium developed a dedicated study on the environmental performance of aluminium refining processes used to produce cast alloy aluminium ingots from aluminium scrap. Based on European Aluminium members’ data, the report provides accurate and reliable performance and Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data, the latter essential for calculating the environmental impact of products using aluminium. 

Key findings of the report

  • The GHG emissions of the refining process decreased by 14% between 2010 and 2018.
  • When including the benefits related to the recovery of the aluminium oxide from the salt slag recycling process, the environmental impacts of the refining process can be further decreased by 11%.
  • The aluminium refining process allows for the recovery and generation of three value-added products, including recycled aluminum, fluxing salt and aluminium oxide from what is generally considered waste. These raw materials recovered from the refining process are used by various industries, including the aluminium, ceramic and cement industries as well as refractories.

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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