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Alcoa introduces low-carbon alumina brand, aims to support greener aluminum supply chain

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2020-09-25   Views:40
Alcoa is introducing a low-carbon, smelter-grade alumina brand, EcoSource, as part of its efforts to reduce emissions throughout the broader aluminum supply chain and support more sustainable end-products, Chief Commercial Officer Timothy Reyes told S&P Global Platts.

"EcoSource is alumina produced with a maximum of 0.6 mt of carbon dioxide equivalents per metric ton of alumina, two times better than the industry's average of 1.2 mt," Reyes said. "This measurement will include direct emissions from our bauxite mining and alumina refining processes plus the indirect emissions from energy consumed in those processes."
Reyes said EcoSource alumina will be produced at all of the company's refineries worldwide and will have an average carbon emissions profile better than most other operating refineries.

"It is years of operating sustainably and improving our production process," he said. "I think for us to be recognized for the fact that we have operated sustainably over the years and that we can differentiate ourselves in terms of our carbon footprint with our existing fleet is something that is important."

Reyes said Alcoa also offers Ecolum, a brand of aluminum products that now guarantees no more than 4 mt of carbon dioxide emissions per metric ton of metal produced. With this distinction, the company offers the lowest carbon aluminum products in the market when accounting for the greater supply chain, he added.

"This will make Ecolum three-and-a-half times better than the industry average offered today on the metals side," Reyes said.

Unlike other producers that only report emissions associated with the smelting process, Reyes said the EcoSource alumina allows Alcoa to better define its Ecolum-associated carbon emissions by accounting for other stages in the supply chain, thus providing a more transparent measure of its total sustainability.

"This will now include not just the direct emissions from the smelting process and indirect emissions from the energy that we use for smelting, but also be inclusive of both process emissions and indirect emissions from alumina refining and bauxite mining," Reyes said.

Reyes said the low-carbon alumina will both be used by Alcoa smelters and sold to third parties.

"It is important to our customers of alumina, and we want to make it clear that we have a product that can help them meet their sustainability goals," he said.

Reyes said Alcoa's operations had gained certification under the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative's Performance Standard and had earned the ASI's Chain of Custody Standard, providing validation traceability of responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminum.
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