European and Global Challenges

Industry Representation before European Aluminium

The Evolution of European Aluminium

Addressing Sustainability

Aluminium in Mobility

Aluminium in Building & Construction

Aluminium in Packaging

The Faces of European Aluminium
Creation of an "Aluminium
and Ecology" Committee
In the early 1990s, awareness was growing at the global level of the environmental risks facing the planet. The United Nations was launching initiatives that would lead to the Kyoto Protocol. Within the European Aluminium Association, the growing importance of environmental issues was reflected in 1991 in organizational terms by the establishment of an Aluminium and Ecology Committee. New perspectives opened up : “Environmental considerations should be used as input for development of new markets and applications”. The Aluminium and Ecology Committee eventually evolved into the current Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Committee.

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From the Life Cycle thinking
to the Ecological Profile Report
The new approach of ecological challenges led EAA to develop new tools in order to spread knowledge. A Life Cycle Inventory was set up in 1992 which served as a basis for the preparation of a full Ecological Profile Report of the European Aluminium Industry(1). The first issue of the Report was published in 1996 and regular updates carried out.
(1) or 1997 ? cf. p.3

Aluminium Life Cycle © European Aluminium
Aluminium for future Generations
The main aluminium industrialists in Europe at the time (Alcan, Alco, Alusuisse, Corus, Hydro, Pechiney and VAW) took the initiative to launch a pioneering cooperation project, “Aluminium for Future Generations“ (AFFG). Five key issues were addressed: energy use, recycling, climate change, R&D, and future markets. AFFG promoted the creation of sectorial sustainability indicators with partners like the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Versailles University and a peer group of internal and external stakeholders. The programme was expanded worldwide in 2003 and is still active in several countries.

© European Aluminium
First Sustainable Development
Indicators developed
Analyzing the environmental impact of the entire value chain, the report provided accurate and reliable Sustainable Development Indicators (SDI) on aluminium industry's environmental performance in Europe. In 2010, further indicators covering the main uses of aluminium, including the recycling rates, were added and, in 2016, European Aluminium moved to a yearly collection of the SDIs.

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Creation of the Sustainability Committee
The Sustainability Committee was set up to develop common positions and related strategies for horizontal sustainability issues, ensuring good coordination from a value chain perspective, to promote and protect the production, transformation and use of aluminium. It played a critical role in the development of the industry’s Sustainability Roadmap.

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Sustainability Roadmap towards 2025
Spearheading a strategic repositioning by European Aluminium, a broad constellation of stakeholders nourished reflection and led to the Sustainability Roadmap towards 2025, a voluntary process including a set of concrete commitments regarding responsible production and stewardship, products-focused innovations, and socio-economic values. Its method: promote “a holistic approach in positioning aluminium to contribute to Europe’s transition to a competitive, sustainable economy”. In 2020/21, a mid-term review would be done to evaluate the progress achieved and to adapt targets.

© European Aluminium
Creation of the Sustainability Advisory Board
To take its ambition to the next level, European Aluminium established a Sustainability Advisory Board. This group of five high-level experts and decision influencers provides independent guidance and challenges the industry’s initiatives.

The Sustainability Advisory Board during an aluminium plant visit in Germany
© European Aluminium
European Aluminium connects
its Sustainability Roadmap to UN SDGs
In 2018, the Sustainability Roadmap was connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. On this occasion, European Aluminium partnered with CSR Europe, Europe’s leading business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. The SDG analysis helped identify eight goals where the aluminium industry should focus to maximize its ability to change and build business opportunities.

European Aluminium SDG Heatmap © European Aluminium
“Vision 2050” contribution
Vision 2050 is European Aluminium’s contribution to the EU mid-century low carbon roadmap. It outlines the conditions necessary for the sector to realise its full potential for decarbonization, knowing that global aluminium demand is expected to increase by 50 % by 2050. The study presents three scenarios for primary aluminium production to realise its strategic potential fully. European Aluminium argues for an increase in the share of recycled aluminum in metal production, which should reach 50% of total production, making it possible to reduce CO2 emissions. This implies improving the supply of waste both in quality and quantity.

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Creation of Energy & Climate Committee
Energy and climate files are crucial for the whole aluminium industry, both in terms of cost impacts on the production and transformation, and of market opportunities for decarbonization solutions offered by aluminium. The Energy & Climate Committee was set up to follow relevant legislative developments and ensure competitiveness of the European Aluminium industry while decarbonizing and improving efficiency across the entire value chain.

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Circular Aluminium Action Plan
European Aluminium launched its Circular Aluminium Action Plan: the sector’s strategy for achieving aluminium’s full potential for a circular economy by 2030. It builds on the aluminium industry’s Vision 2050, with a focus on recycling and provides policy recommendations for EU policymakers for its Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU’s objectives to reduce its CO2 emissions. The plan aims at maximizing aluminium recycling rates and to keep the material in active use.

Metal supply - 2019, 2030 and 2050
© European Aluminium

Greenhouse gas emissions of primary aluminium production and recycling process
© European Aluminium