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What is sustainable development? 2
Why industry needs to take it seriously 2
Financial implications 2
Commercial Benefits 2

Aluminium’s contribution to
sustainable modern living 3
International Representation 3
Life Cycle 4
Energy Efficiency 6
Greenhouse Gases Reduction 7
Ongoing challenges facing the industry
on the road to sustainable development 8
Legacy for future generations 8



Economic Dimension
The Structure of the Industry 9
Contribution to the overall economy 9
Contribution to Global Food Supply 9
Job Creation 10

Environmental Dimension
Introduction 12
Land Use 12
Energy Efficiency 14
Energy Supply 14
Water Use 15
Control of Fluoride Emissions 16
Greenhouse Gases Reduction 17
Aluminium in Transport - A Success Story 17
Recycling 19

Social Dimension
Stakeholder Engagement 20
Safety and Health 21
Public Safety 22
Health and Fitness 22
Community Health Care Projects 23
Safety of the Motorist 23
Mobility 23
Community Care 24
Training and Education 24
The information contained in this report is based upon data
submitted by the operating companies that have participated in the Means of Implementation
production of the report and has not been verified by the IAI. For
Greenhouse Gas Reduction 26
more information about our publications and links to our Member
Companies and the National and Regional Associations please Future Approach to Sustainable
visit our website at Development 26
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE territorial development. Sir Mark Moody Stuart,
former Chairman of Shell, points out that “unless
DEVELOPMENT? a business is seen as a useful and constructive
member of society it will suffer.”
The Brundtland Commission of the 1980s defined
the concept of sustainable development as “meet-
ing the needs of the present, without compromis- FINANCIAL
ing the ability of future generations to meet their IMPLICATIONS
own needs.” The World Business Council for
Sustainable Development has defined it as “ensur- A company’s approach to sustainable development
ing a better quality of life for everyone, for now and could affect share value and a company’s standing.
for generations to come.” It combines economic, For example the Dow Jones Sustainability Group
social and environmental concerns, (often called Index measures the performance of industrial com-
the triple bottom line) and panies according to criteria
offers business opportuni- "Meeting the needs of the present, for social responsibility and
ties for companies that can sustainable development.
without compromising the ability of They assert that companies
improve the lives of the
world’s population.
future generations to meet their own which are conscious of sus-
needs." tainability not only manage
The Chairman of IAI the standard economic fac-
member Norsk Hydro, Egil Myklebust, has tors affecting their business, but also the environ-
explained that his company and business in gener- mental and social factors as well. There is mount-
al “needs a balanced interaction, so that economy, ing evidence that their financial performance is
environment, and social responsibility support and superior to that of companies that do not adequate-
strengthen each other. As we pursue excellence in ly, correctly and optimally manage these important
business performance and growth, to create value factors.
for our shareholders, we will recognize the legiti-
mate interests of other stakeholders: our employ- COMMERCIAL
ees, local communities, our customers, our suppli-
ers and society at large. It is this triple ambition -
economy, environment and social responsibility - There can also be tangible commercial benefits in
we label sustainable conduct.” terms of cost savings, protection of the company’s
license to operate, conservation and efficiency. It
For industry, the concern for the environment can also be used as a means of improving and
involves reducing the consumption of resources. enhancing a company’s reputation, branding and
This includes minimising the use of energy, mate- marketing as well as a means of improving stake-
rials, water and land, while enhancing recyclability holder relations and perceptions.
and product durability. It also means reducing the
impact on nature by minimising air emissions, Aluminium’s profile is probably better adapted than
water discharges, waste disposal and the dispersion many other materials to take on the challenge of
of toxic substances. sustainable development. Aluminium stands to ben-
efit from the triple bottom line or sustainable devel-
opment approach. Its real impact on the environ-
WHY INDUSTRY NEEDS ment can only be judged in terms of a full cradle to
TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY gate life cycle analysis, a methodology embodied in
the sustainable development approach. Aluminium,
Governments, International Organisations, like because of its characteristics, has the potential to do
UNEP and the OECD, and Environmental NGOs well when measured against sustainable develop-
are pressing industry to take sustainable develop- ment criteria. It is a material which can be prof-
ment seriously. For example the EU Commission’s itably recycled without loss of quality, for use by
Strategy focuses on six key issues which include future generations. It is its recyclability, as well as its
climate change and clean energy, public health, the applications, which justify the significant energy
management of natural resources, land use and required initially to produce primary aluminium.

ALUMINIUM’S are light, strong and have unique barrier and insu-
lation qualities. It preserves food, cosmetics and
CONTRIBUTION TO pharmaceutical products by protecting them from
SUSTAINABLE ultra-violet light, odours and bacteria. Packaging
of all types, including aluminium, saves about 30%
MODERN LIVING of the world’s food from wastage. Less than an
ounce of aluminium sprayed on a polymer forms a
Aluminium is a young and modern metal. It has
thin heat-reflecting sheet that can keep a new born
only been produced on an industrial scale since
baby warm or save the life of someone on an
1886, when Hall and Héroult independently dis-
exposed mountain top. Aluminium has a particu-
lar advantage for use in arctic climates, as it retains
all its performance properties at low temperatures.





Aluminium’s Major Applications EUROPE ASIA

covered how to produce aluminium through elec-

Production Capacity by Region
trolysis. In 1900 annual output of aluminium was
one thousand tonnes. By the end of the twentieth
The aluminium industry directly employs over a
century annual production had reached 32 million
million people worldwide and indirectly generates
tonnes, comprising 24 million tonnes of primary
four times as many jobs in downstream and serv-
aluminium and 8 million tonnes from recycled
ice industries.
metal. This makes aluminium the world’s second
most used metal. A world without aluminium has
become unimaginable. The business traveller, the INTERNATIONAL
tourist and the freight company are dependent on
aluminium, as the commercial aviation and space
industries would never have achieved “lift off” As aluminium is a global commodity the industry
without it. has adopted a global approach to sustainable
development issues through its international body,
The metal makes a key contribution to fuel-effi- the International Aluminium Institute (IAI). The
cient engines in cars and trucks as well as to high Institute currently has 21 member companies rep-
speed rail and sea travel. By reducing the vehicles’ resenting almost every continent. The split of total
weight it cuts down on fuel consumption and primary aluminium production between OECD
emissions, without compromising the size or the and non-OECD countries is roughly 50:50.
safety of the vehicles. Aluminium facilitates the Together the member companies produce around
construction of corrosion-resistant and low main- 60% of the world’s primary aluminium and a sig-
tenance buildings. Around the world, most long nificant proportion of the world’s recycled metal.
distance overhead transmission and distribution The IAI is involving the Chinese and Russian pro-
lines are made of aluminium. ducers in its programme activities and aims to
bring the Institute’s coverage to around 90% of
Aluminium in packaging preserves food quality, world production. The compact structure of the
reduces waste and provides convenience for the industry facilitates the gathering of global per-
users. It can be rolled into ultra-thin foils, which formance data and the spreading of good practice

Location of Aluminium Smelters

through benchmarking. As a result the IAI is graphs and training seminars, to encourage
already monitoring and reporting on a number of plants to match the best performers;
widely used sustainable development indicators Q Conducting regular surveys of land use for
such as energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and bauxite mining and rehabilitation and report-
safety performance. Since 1997 the IAI has col- ing the results every five years;
lected comprehensive benchmarking data on safe- Q Collecting annual accident statistics globally
ty performance in the global aluminium industry and issuing global benchmarking reports to
and information is shared on accidents, near miss- encourage participating companies to match
the best performance of their colleagues;
es and their causes. Such benchmarking data is a
Q Collecting data on the industry’s global eco-
driving force for continual improvement. Many
nomic contribution.
companies have a policy of zero accidents as their
target. The IAI’s Health Committee plans to col- The Institute sees sustainable development as a
lect global statistics on occupational illness and tool for satisfying stakeholder concerns and meas-
benchmark performance. These statistics will be uring business performance. Examples of global
regularly updated. performance indicators on health, environment,
safety, energy consumption and production are
The aluminium industry has a number of elements illustrated by the graphs opposite:
in its current environment, health and safety pro-
grammes which would enable it to become a pio-
neer in the field of global industrial reporting on LIFE CYCLE
sustainable development. The IAI is also currently:
The IAI Board of Directors tasked the Institute with
Q Working to produce global scrap and re-
cycling statistics which will help identify the developing as complete an understanding as possi-
scope for increased recycling; ble of the positive and negative contributions that
Q Publishing annual global surveys of the alu- aluminium makes to the environmental and eco-
minium industry’s energy consumption; nomic well-being of the world’s population during
Q Publishing an annual global survey of the the entire “life cycle” of the material. An adequate
industry’s PFC emissions and PFC reduction knowledge of aluminium’s environmental impacts is
performance, backed up by benchmarking an essential foundation for the aluminium industry’s

Global Performance Indicators
Global metallurgical alumina production Global energy for metallurgical alumina

Megajoules per kg Alumina

40 14
Millions of Tonnes



1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Global primary production
Global electric energy for electrolysis
30 17
Millions of Tonnes


kWh per kg Al


1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Global electrolysis greenhouse gas emissions
Global specific PFC emissions
kg CO2-eq per kg Al

(Percent of 1990 Baseline)

7 100
Specific CF4 Emissions

5 70
4 60
2 30
1 20
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 0
Figures are CO2-equivalents related to the electrolysiss and included PFC emissions 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Development of fluoride emissions Consumption of fluoride

16 100
14 90
kg F per tonne Al
kg F per tonne Al

12 70
10 60
8 50
6 30
4 20
2 10
0 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Not global figures but describe the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations of aluminium Figures constitute losses to air, water, spent potlinings and waste at a representative
smelting technology smelter.

Global injury rates and lost time severity

Severity rate (Days Lost)

30 200
Injury Rates

20 140
15 100
10 60
0 0
1997 1998 1999 2000
Rates given per million hours worked






REFINING Rolling Extrusion etc INDUSTRY

Aluminium Production and Life Cycle

effort at continuous improvement. The Institute’s vehicle’s weight and therefore its fuel consump-
Life Cycle Committee is working to complete a full tion. This means that, over the vehicle’s lifetime,
life cycle analysis over four years, covering all the every kilogram of aluminium used saves the equiv-
main applications. This work is supported by advi- alent of twenty kilograms of CO2. Current esti-
sory committees composed of experts (from mem- mates show that globally there will be, by the year
ber companies and aluminium associations) on 2020, a 35% increase in CO2 emissions from all
environment and energy, life cycles, health and
vehicles. An increased use of aluminium would
global health, safety and global recycling. The 20
reduce this figure to 28%, helping to make the
regional and national aluminium associations from
transportation sector more sustainable.
around the world represent every segment of the
industry and take a leading part in promoting these
initiatives by incorporating them into their local ENERGY EFFICIENCY
action programmes. So far reports have been pub-
lished on the use of aluminium in automobiles and The fact that energy represents a large part (some
construction.These can be found on the IAI’s web- 25%) of the costs associated with primary alumini-
site ( Reports covering um production means that producers have always
packaging and road/rail transport are being pre- had a vested interest in minimising electricity con-
pared. The quality of the life cycle data and analy- sumption. The IAI publishes an annual Survey of
sis is scrutinised by an independent panel of leading Global Energy Consumption, which has, over the
life cycle experts. years, recorded a considerable reduction in energy
consumption per tonne of aluminium produced.
Aluminium stands to benefit from the sustainable Smelters in the 1990s used a third less electricity
development approach because its real impact on per tonne than equivalent plant in the 1950s and
that trend of improving energy efficiency continues
the environment can only be judged in terms of a
full cradle-to-grave life cycle analysis. It is a sus-
tainable material, whose recyclability and applica- The IAI seeks to encourage continuing improve-
tions justify the high energy requirement of pri- ment in energy efficiency by circulating energy
mary aluminium production. During an automo- benchmarking statistics. These enable smelters to
bile’s construction a kilogram of aluminium can improve their performance by comparing it with
replace two kilograms of conventional heavier the best energy consumption figures achieved by
materials, thus contributing to the reduction of the smelters around the world, with the same technol-


Million Tonnes





1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1999

World Aluminium Usage Primary Production Scrap Recovery Total Usage


ogy. The lightness of aluminium products con- GREENHOUSE GASES

tributes to fuel savings and reductions in emis-
sions. Air, rail and road transport all benefit from REDUCTION IN THE
these savings, both directly and as a result of alu- FORM OF
minium packaging and materials being lighter
than other materials.
Energy costs are also an incentive for the industry
to optimise its recycling at a time when some gov-
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are produced during
ernments are introducing compulsory recycling
brief upset conditions of the electrolysis process
for cars and packaging. Recycling requires only
and the Institute carries out annual surveys of
5% of the energy and produces only 5% of the
these emissions. It also sends out benchmarking
CO2 emissions compared with primary produc-
reports, allowing individual plants to compare
tion. Recycled metal already satisfies around a
their performance with other de-identified plants
third of world demand for aluminium and it is an
which use the same technology. The Industry has
ever growing proportion of total aluminium pro-
also appointed a PFC Consultant to hold seminars
and carry out measurement programmes to
Aluminium is an “energy bank” - the original ener- encourage the wider adoption of good operating
gy input can be recovered again and again every practices. The preliminary results of the IAI sur-
time the product is recycled. Aluminium can be veys for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000 for IAI
recycled profitably and repeatedly without loss in member companies reporting anode effect data
quality. Many products, for example automotive indicate a continuing declining trend with PFC
castings, are made mainly from recycled metal. emissions, as carbon dioxide equivalents, reduced
by 60% per tonne of production since 1990.
Those companies responding to requests for
anode effect data increased from 61% of the
world’s primary aluminium production in 1990 to
66% in 2000. Worldwide estimates of PFC emis-
sions have been based on an extrapolation of the
IAI survey data using knowledge of the reduction
technologies at those facilities which have not
reported anode effect data. These results show
that, while worldwide aluminium production has

used as leading indicators of progress;
Q Developing performance indicators on the
social aspects of sustainability;
Q Encouraging an industry wide approach to
sustainability through awareness training,
benchmarking, monitoring and reporting.

Aluminium producers are continuing to develop

their own models of sustainability which they are
integrating into daily company operational man-
agement practice. Many examples are to be found
in the main report.


Bales of crushed aluminium cans
There is no cause for concern over possible deple-
increased by around 24% since 1990, there has tion or exhaustion of the raw material, as 7.3% of
still been an overall reduction in the total annual the earth’s crust is made up of aluminium com-
emissions of PFCs.These reductions in PFC emis- pounds. The known reserves of high quality baux-
sions to the atmosphere are estimated to amount ite, the ore from which most aluminium is pro-
to over 34 million tonnes as carbon dioxide equiv- duced, are sufficient to provide over 300 years
alents, a reduction of about 39% from the 1990 supply. The use of mineral resources for the pro-
baseline for worldwide PFC emissions. The sur- duction of aluminium is quite modest. Between 4
veys also show that smelters in the developing and 5 tonnes of bauxite are required to produce
world, which often use state of the art technology, one tonne of aluminium. Apart from evaluating
are performing as well as, if not better than, some the size of the available mineral reserves, it is also
plants in Europe or North America. important to take account of the metal’s recycla-
bility when considering the fair distribution of
ONGOING CHALLENGES resources between generations.To encourage more
recycling and so ensure that aluminium makes its
FACING THE INDUSTRY full contribution to sustainable development, the
ON THE ROAD TO IAI has created, in collaboration with the alumini-
um recycling industry, a Global Aluminium
SUSTAINABLE Recycling Committee. Aluminium is so easy to
DEVELOPMENT recycle again and again, that it maintains a high
value at the end of a product’s life. Aluminium
In an effort to achieve its sustainable development therefore satisfies more than almost any other
goals, the Industry needs to focus on the following: material the requirement for a fair distribution of
Q Continuing the reduction programme for resource utilisation between generations. The
greenhouse gas emissions; largest known and most rapidly growing stocks of
Q Increasing the recycling rate of used alumini- aluminium are “metal in use”.These stocks of alu-
um; minium represent a permanent asset for society,
Q Minimizing the use of hazardous or toxic because aluminium is not bio-degradable and does
materials and finding alternatives to land fill not rust away. It is estimated that while annual
disposal for spent pot lining and bauxite production of primary aluminium from bauxite is
residues; 24 million tonnes per annum, there are still 400
Q Achieving further energy efficiency improve- million tonnes of the metal in use which will even-
ments; tually be available for recycling. Aluminium is
Q Establishing consistently understood and essential for modern living and is an investment for
applied sustainability metrics that can be future generations.

economic dimension
The primary aluminium industry is relatively com- Aluminium foil makes a major contribution to
pact with 20 companies representing 65% of the conserving the world’s food supply. It is calculat-
world’s production. Most companies are single ed that all types of packaging save about 30% of
metal companies. Only 20% are involved with the world’s food from wastage. Recent studies have
other metals or are multi-metal mining companies. shown, for example, that when considering the
Over half the world’s production is produced by complete lifecycle of coffee, packaging has a far
large vertically integrated companies, who are less significant environmental impact than the cul-
involved with both recycling and mining the raw tivation, processing and roasting processes. Only
material bauxite. Production capacity is present 10 percent of the energy consumed between the
on almost every continent and many of the most production and use of foodstuffs is attributable to
modern smelters are to be found in non-OECD packaging; almost 50 percent of the energy con-
countries, which are responsible for around 50% sumed is used to produce the foodstuffs and about
of the world’s production. 35 percent is used for their preparation and han-
dling. Packaging saves ten times more waste than
CONTRIBUTION TO THE it creates. If packaging fails to fulfil its proper
function of preserving and preventing contamina-
OVERALL ECONOMY tion its contents will inevitably deteriorate. All
energy and raw material resources used to produce
The aluminium industry makes a significant con-
and distribute the contents would then have been
tribution to the global economy as well as to many
individual national economies in over 30 coun-
tries. The commercial aviation industry would
never have taken off without aluminium. The
Wright Brothers’ first aeroplane, which flew in
1903, had a four-cylinder, 12-horsepower auto Impact on the Food Supply System
engine, modified with a 30-pound aluminium ENERGY
block to reduce weight. Aluminium now compris-
es about 80% of a Boeing 747 aircraft’s unladen 93% 7%
weight. The civil aviation industry transports the
equivalent in value of a third of the world’s trade 94% 6%
goods. In 1999 airfreight amounted to 350 billion ACIDIFICATION

tonne-kilometres. The airlines transported one 95% 5%

and half billion passengers in 1999. 24 million WASTE
people are currently employed around the world in 94% 6%
the civil aviation and tourism industries. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Aluminium reduces the weight of cars, truck,
Note: Food supply system includes coffee FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
trains and ships, which means they can carry more
cultivation and raw coffee transport, Impact of Coffee
and cause less wear and tear on the road and rail production, consumption, disposal and
packaging processing. Impact of packaging
Source: European Aluminium Foil Association

Aluminium foil is often used in combination with lion in total payroll. In Brazil the aluminium
other materials, such as paper and plastic. In industry provides 3% of the exports and 51,000
Germany every effort is made to remove the jobs. It represents about 1% of Brazil’s total GDP
organic materials from the aluminium, and thus and generates almost US$1 billion in tax revenue.
recover the aluminium for the production of high Investments totalled US$2.7 billion in the three
quality aluminium products. The organic compo- years 1997-1999. Canada earned 4.3 billion
nents are used as materials or energy. However, the Canadian dollars from aluminium exports in
way that aluminium composites are recycled is 1998. Aluminium is Australia’s second largest
often dependent on national legislation. If alu- commodity export worth over 6 billion Australian
minium composites or aluminium foil are inciner- dollars in 1999 while the Norwegian aluminium
ated they contribute to energy production because industry generates 2% of Norway’s GNP.
they have a calorific value of 31 MJ/kg, higher than
that of coal.

JOB CREATION The aluminium industry in Washington state sup-

ports $4.4 billion of output, 29,600 direct and
The aluminium industry provides employment, indirect jobs and $1.4 billion of personal income.
often in remote areas, where job opportunities are Much of this economic benefit accrues to those
rural communities where some of the industry’s
plants are located.
Q Total sales for the companies were $2.6 bil-
Q The industry directly provided 7,510 jobs in
1998 and indirectly generated another 22,090
jobs for a combined overall employment
impact of 29,600 jobs in Washington State;
Q The industry’s employment multiplier is 3.9,
which is 0.2 higher than the aerospace indus-
try multiplier and 0.3 higher than the state
average multiplier;
Q The industry supported an additional 46,030
state residents; every aluminium job directly
and indirectly supported 6.1 state residents.

Billet is raised from the casting pit
The 2001 production capacity of the aluminium
scarce. While the industry does not employ child smelters in Canada of 2,710,000 tonnes of alu-
labour, it does provide opportunities for young- minium is the result of massive investments of
sters to become involved in apprenticeships and approximately $12 billion made in capital equip-
introduction to work schemes. It is estimated that ment over the past fifteen years by the three
the aluminium industry itself directly employs over Canadian-based companies. As a result, Canada
a million people world-wide and indirectly gener- ranks third among major producing countries with
ates approximately 4 times as many jobs in down- more than 10% of world production and is also a
stream and service industries. This total includes, major exporting country with 75% of total
for example, 3,000 aluminium companies, Canadian production sold on foreign markets. In
employing 235,000 in Europe; 42,000 in Japan; addition to the 15,000 well paid jobs that the
17,500 in Australia and 21,000 in Canada. The industry directly provides, annual operating
US Aluminium Industry operates about 300 expenditures devoted to operating its production
plants in 40 states, employing 143,000 men and facilities are the source of approximately 25,000
women and generating approximately US$5 bil- indirect jobs. In addition, each dollar spent by the

industry generates almost $2.50 in direct and indi- the nation’s largest taxpayers, contributing over 10
rect benefits for the national economy, a total that percent of Ghana’s total tax receipts for a number
is much higher than that generated by the tourist of years. Volta River Authority’s sales to VALCO
industry or farming. Industrial activities by the make electricity one of Ghana’s top five exports.
three aluminium producers combine to create a As the largest US investment in Ghana, VALCO
tax base that allows the Canadian and Quebec has become the fifth largest contributor of foreign
governments to levy almost a billion dollars in exchange to the Ghanaian economy.
taxes annually.

The new Mozal aluminium smelter is the largest
The workers wages in the Russian aluminium investment in Mozambique since it gained its
industry exceed the regional average by 3 to 4 independence from Portugal in 1975. It employs
times. 750 people and nine out of every ten workers are
Mozambicans. At a stroke the plant increased
Mozambique’s gross national product by seven
percent and doubled its exports.

Jamaica is one of the world’s largest bauxite and

alumina producers. The aluminium industry Cameroon
accounts for about 50 percent of Jamaica’s exports
and is thus the country’s second largest source of The output of Cameroon’s aluminium producer,
foreign currency. It provides direct employment, Alucam, represents 1% of the country’s gross
with well-paid jobs, for over 4,000 people. For domestic product. Alucam provides around 65%
example, the least qualified workers earn up to of Cameroon’s total exports.
four times the legally required minimum wage.
Farming on land that is not yet being - or is no Aluminium ingot bundles waiting to be shipped
longer being - mined for bauxite, results in the
aluminium industry also being the island’s largest
producer of milk and meat.


The aluminium industry in Suriname generates

$350 million annually, accounts for 70% of the
country’s exports and is the major source of for-
eign currency. The industry generates 40% of the
government’s income tax revenues. The industry
directly supports 2500 workers with a multiplier of
4. Average wages are about 4 times the country
average. Ninety nine percent of the workforce are
native Surinamese.


The Volta Aluminium Company is the largest

manufacturing employer in the nation, employing
1,200 people over 99% of whom are Ghanaians.
Through its tolling contracts, the company gener-
ates upwards of $200 million annually for the
Ghanaian economy. VALCO has become one of
environmental dimensions

Location of Major Bauxite Mining areas


The industry’s main sustainability challenges are The use of mineral resources for the production of
natural resource extraction, habitat impacts, ener- aluminium is quite modest as compared with
gy use, emissions and waste disposal. The IAI many other materials. Between 4 and 5 tonnes of
Board of Directors gave a mandate for a full life bauxite are required to produce one tonne of alu-
cycle study of the metal to define its positive and mina and two tonnes of alumina are required to
negative impacts on the global environment. produce one tonne of aluminium metal. There are
Considerable progress has already been achieved numerous bauxite deposits, mainly in tropical and
with this audit and with mitigating the negative subtropical regions which are generally extracted
and boosting the positive impacts by the expert by open cast mining from strata, typically some 4-
advisory committees concerned with the environ- 6 metres thick under a shallow covering of topsoil
ment, energy use and life cycle methodology. and vegetation. In most cases the topsoil is
These committees are composed of senior envi- removed and stored.
ronmental, health and safety managers from com-
panies and aluminium associations from around The IAI’s first Bauxite Mine Rehabilitation Survey
the world. was prepared in 1991, covering 65% of total world

A 140 tonne capacity haul truck

being loaded with bauxite at
Comalco’s Wepa mine, North
bauxite production. It described the overall impact sessing important fauna species, of these 527
of bauxite mining on the environment and the hectares or 91% will be restored to wild life
rehabilitation programmes in place at 18 mining habitat by the planting of suitable vegetation.
locations. A second survey was carried out in 1998 Companies representing 60% of global
and covered 27 mining locations covering 72% of bauxite production had their own plant nurs-
the total world bauxite production. The results of eries for the purposes of re-afforestation and
both of these surveys indicate that the bauxite min- revegetation.
ing industry is broadly in harmony with the Q The Second Survey indicates continuous
approach set out in the United Nations improvement. Rehabilitation plans are in
Environment Programme (UNEP) “Guidelines place at most mines (25 out of 27 - 90%, as
for the Environmental Management of Alumina compared to 10 out of 18 - 55%, in 1991). A
Production”: very high proportion of mine managements
Q Bauxite mining takes place in four main cli- have long term plans for the mine areas that
mate groups, in 1998 the distribution was will leave a self-sustaining ecosystem in place,
Temperate 0.5%, Mediterranean 39%, when all mining operations have been com-
Tropical 48% and Subtropical 13%. The veg- pleted.The current rehabilitation rate is 1,256
etation types disturbed each year are mainly hectares per annum.
76% forests, 19% agriculture and pasture and Q All those surveyed actively supported their
2% shrubland. Post-mining land use shows local community. Almost 90% funded infra-
70% being returned to native forest, 3% to structure development. 87% of companies
commercial forest, 17% to pasture and agri- were involved in funding local schools and
culture, 7% used for urban and industrial improving the local infrastructure. 69% of the
development, housing and recreational pur- companies provided help for community
poses. medical services, the arts, cultural develop-
Q The area disturbed for mine development has ment and the preservation of local culture.
increased by some 14% over the past decade 81% of the mines have an outreach pro-
In 1991 it was about 1,400 hectares and by gramme to benefit local businesses and con-
1998 it had risen to 1,591 hectares. The out- tractors. Around 70% of the mines have
put of bauxite ore per hectare had increased apprenticeship programmes, 50% have schol-
from 52 thousand tonnes per hectare to 56.5 arship schemes and 62% have youth support
thousand tonnes per hectare in 1998. Of the programmes. 81% of the mines funded parks
total area mined per year in 1998, 80% was and recreational facilities. Bauxite mines also
identified as wildlife habitat and 175 hectares continue to provide help to indigenous com-
was tropical rainforest. The majority of mines munities with measures ranging from the
have introduced measures such as wildlife development of nurseries to drinking and irri-
reserves and corridors, wildlife research and gation wells to adult literacy training.
monitoring programmes. In Jamaica the Q Exporting bauxite mines generated about
industry has created orchid sanctuaries to US$1.4m in revenue per hectare mined in
help preserve the local orchid species. 577 1998. A typical mine employs about 200
hectares of mined area were identified as pos- people for each million tonnes/year of bauxite
produced. One hectare provides employment
for about 11 people. Thus the local commu-
nity wants the mine for the employment and
Rehabilitated Land Use for the assistance to community amenities it
offers, while governments want the mines for


LIVESTOCK DEV infrastructure investment and tax revenue


PASTURE reasons. These social benefits are comple-

MMERCIAL FOREST NATIVE FOREST mented, according to the survey, by an ever-
greater awareness of environmental factors by
the companies, which results in the mined
areas being restored to an environmentally
friendly condition.

Alba’s Reduction Line 4 utilising Pechiney technology

ENERGY EFFICIENCY Energy Consumption for Primary Aluminium

Production of primary aluminium requires signifi-
kWh per tonne of aluminium

cant energy and the industry has a long tradition of 50

self-improvement in this area. The average energy
consumption and subsequent emissions per tonne
of production have fallen by 70% over the past 30
hundred years, due to research and continuing
process developments. In the 1950’s it took on
average about 21 kWh (kilowatt-hours) to make a 10
kilogram of aluminium from alumina. In 1999 it
took one of the newest smelters just 13 kWh, a 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999
decrease of nearly 40%. The IAI carries out an
annual energy consumption survey covering 70%
of the world’s primary production facilities. The
which is clean, CO2 free and renewable. In certain
results are benchmarked to encourage improved
countries like Brazil, Norway, Canada and Russia
performance. The following graph shows a steady
the percentage is much higher (e.g. over 80% for
reduction in electrical power used in primary alu-
Russia and 100% for Norway.) The global distri-
minium production from 1899-1999.
bution of energy sources is as shown in the follow-
ing pie chart.
Some aluminium smelters are located in areas
More than 55 per cent of the world’s primary alu- where there is a natural surplus of energy for which
minium is produced using hydro-electric power there is insufficient economic local use. Also when

Energy Sources Drinking water is supplied by the Chubut River
that flows 70 km away from the town and is there-

fore a scarce and expensive resource. Puerto


GAS Madryn has become an important area for tourism
OTHERS because of its wildlife (whales and birds) and
seashore. The community is also working on dif-
ferent projects, with the object of minimising the
spillage of liquid effluents into the gulf.

The effluents generated from the sanitary services

energy shortages develop, power can be diverted of the smelter buildings and the washing of vehi-
from aluminium electrolysis to supply the power cles are first processed in order to eliminate oils
grid, thus helping to reduce peak period prices for and grease and precipitate fluorides.They are then
other power users and reduce the need for the con- aerobically oxidised by complete mixing and
struction of marginal peak period electrical gener- decanting. The treated effluents are used to water
ating capacity. This is the case where aluminium the 15 hectare green area within the smelter
producers provide power to the grid at peak times boundaries. On rainy days the treated liquid efflu-
(e.g. Quebec/Brazil) or shift production from alu- ents that cannot be re-used for watering the green
minium for longer periods as happened, for exam-
ple, in the US North West, British Columbia and
Brazil, to free up electricity for other uses. An environmental officer monitors water
quality at the Boyne Island smelter

The district heating project at the world’s largest

aluminium rolling mill, Alu Norf in Germany, is a
good example of improved energy efficiency. The
surplus heat from the waste cleaning system on 13
melting furnaces is used for heating by 6,500 peo-
ple on a housing estate a few kilometres away. It
replaces up to 3.9 million cubic metres of natural
gas and thus avoids about 10,000 tonnes of CO2
being released into the atmosphere every year.

Water use will be an important consideration in
the full life cycle studies now being undertaken by
the IAI on behalf of the aluminium industry.Water
is used in the aluminium industry for cooling in
certain processes and sanitary purposes. The local
programmes to reduce water consumption vary
from location to location depending on the ease of
access to water and on water consumption costs.

An example of good practice is that of an alumini-

um smelter in Puerto Madryn in Argentina which
has implemented a local programme with the goal
of zero spillage of liquid effluents into the sea. The
town of Puerto Madryn has a population of
65,000 and is on the shores of Golfo Nuevo in
Patagonia. This is a large region with an arid cli-
mate. Average annual rainfall is 200 mm.
areas, are accumulated in an artificial pond for the
watering of a 24 hectare forested area, planted by
the smelter. This forest also receives treated liquid
effluents generated by the sanitary services of the
town, especially during spring and summer, con-
tributing towards water re-use and the reduction of 1st Generation Plants 1940 - 1955 12 -15
spillage to the sea. As a next step the aluminium kg per tonne
producer is planning a project that will allow the
reuse of up to 40% of the liquid effluents generat- 2nd Generation Plants 1955 - 1975 2-6
ed in the town. The study consists of replacing the kg per tonne
drinking water that is presently used during alu-
3rd Generation Plants 1975 - today 0.5 - 1
minium solidification, for motor cooling and steam
kg per tonne
generation, with biologically treated effluents that
are submitted to an inverse osmosis process to
reduce their soluble solids content. The synergies Plants with modern control systems to remove and
that sustain this project are the following: recycle the fluorides do not generate local con-
cerns. Optimum fume collection from the elec-
Q Reduction in the consumption of drinking trolytic cells, coupled with specific workplace-
water for industrial purposes, liberating 2000 related training of the employees should also lead
m3 /day of the water supply public service to further improvement in the future. The follow-
capacity, that will benefit the growth of the ing graphs illustrate the reduction of atmospheric
town in the future; fluoride emissions in Norwegian smelters from
Q Reduction in the costs of the town liquid 1960 to 2000, despite the increase in production
effluents treatment, as the implementation of from 185,000 tonnes per year in 1960 to
the project will avoid the electromechanical 1,030,000 tonnes in 2000.
pumping of approximately 4000 m3 /day of
liquid over a 50 m elevation;
Q 50% expansion of the company’s forested Specific Emission of Fluoride to the atmosphere
area in order to reuse the water, discarded by
kg fluoride per tonne of aluminium

the inverse osmosis process, for watering;

Q Considerable contribution towards the min- 4.4
imisation of effluents spillage to the sea, pro-
posed by the Puerto Madryn community.


1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
For many decades fluoride emissions (as gases and
particulates) were considered to be the single most Total Emission of Fluoride to the atmosphere
important pollutant from aluminium smelters.
Depending on the local conditions, fluorides could 2.2
have a serious environmental impact on the local
1000 tonne per year

flora and fauna. Fluorides accumulate in vegeta-

tion and can cause damage to coniferous trees. 1.4
They also accumulate in the teeth and bones of
ruminants eating fluoride-contaminated forage.
The following table shows the development in flu- 0.6
oride reductions through 3 “generations” of alu- 0.4
minium smelters.
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

In Russia, over the last decade, specific energy con- bon dioxide. This is one of the few examples
sumption decreased by 11% and hydrogen fluo- where the global emissions of a greenhouse gas
ride and sulphurous anhydride emissions were from an industry sector are actually in decline.
reduced by 45% and 59% respectively. In the case The Industry has also appointed a PFC
of the majority of plants, around the world, which Consultant to hold seminars and carry out meas-
use modern control equipment with efficient gas urement programmes to encourage the wider
collection and wet/dry scrubbing systems, the adoption of good operating practices. The Surveys
damage from fluoride emissions to surrounding show that smelters in the developing world are per-
flora and fauna has largely been eliminated. forming as well as, if not better than, some plants
Fluoride control systems are operated as closed in Europe or North America. Voluntary agree-
loop systems with no residual wastes. ments between government and industry have
played a significant role in encouraging this reduc-
tion in PFC emissions in many countries such as
GREENHOUSE GASES Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, France,
REDUCTION Germany, New Zealand, Norway and the UK.
Together they represent around 50% of world pro-
The industrial processes of the primary aluminium duction.
industry in 1997 emitted 110 million tonnes of
CO2 equivalents, 50 million tonnes (45%) of
which originated from two perfluorocarbon com- ALUMINIUM IN
pounds (PFCs). The Institute carries out annual TRANSPORT - A
surveys of PFC emissions and sends out bench-
marking reports, so individual plants can compare SUCCESS STORY
their performance with other de-identified plants
using the same technology. A number of compa- Energy use and the CO2 emissions caused by
nies, representing 63% of world aluminium pro- transport have increased significantly. This
duction, have participated in these surveys. The increase has been caused by the rapid growth in
data they have provided show the specific emission the size of the worlds vehicle fleet. More and more
rate of CF4 to have been reduced by 60% between people and goods are being transported over
1990 and 2000. Over the same period, the specif- longer distances in heavier vehicles. Cars, trains,
ic emission rate for C2F6 has been reduced by trucks and buses have become heavier in part
62%. PFCs have the greenhouse gas warming because of the increased use of electronics, com-
potential of 6,500 and 9,200 times that of CO2 for fort equipment (air conditioners) and safety equip-
CF4 and C2F6 respectively. Estimates of worldwide ment (e.g. air bags and crash elements in cars) and
PFC emissions, based on extrapolation of the data in part because of demands for additional space
from the IAI survey, show a reduction in total and capacity.
emissions of both PFC compounds to the atmos-
phere of about 39% as carbon dioxide equivalent The manufacturers of vehicles and their suppliers
emissions, amounting to 34 million tonnes of car- are seeking to reduce the environmental impacts
caused by transport. The aluminium industry
Specific PFC Emissions
helps to meet this challenge with its contribution
to light-weighting, improved performance and to
CF4 Emissions per tonne AI

improved safety. Different life-cycle assessments

(Percent of 1990 Baseline)

have shown that 1 kg of aluminium in a car body,
replacing 2 kg of steel in a conventional car body,
saves, during the life-time of the car, about 20 kg
of greenhouse gas emissions (in CO2 equivalents).
In addition if, for example, 1000 kg of greenhouse
gas is saved by the use of less gasoline in a light-
weight vehicle, this also means a reduction of other
potential environmental impacts, including:
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Q 15800 MJ of crude oil resources;

Q 933 kg of water; aluminium per vehicle in 2000 and is expected to
Q 1.8 kg ethylene equivalents of ozone forming contain 159 kg by 2010.The cumulative impact of
hydrocarbons; using aluminium in this way will yield greenhouse
Q a saving of 2.1 kg SO2 equivalents of acidifi- gas savings of 180 million tonnes per year by 2010.
cation potential. But there are still even greater opportunities,
which could reduce GHG emissions by five times
The global use of aluminium in the automotive as much. Vehicles such as buses and long haul
sector has increased from 2.5 million tonnes in trucks operate over much longer distances during
1991 to nearly 4.5 million tonnes in 1999. This their lifetimes, often five times longer than that of
use of aluminium for automobiles in 1999 alone a typical passenger car. The use of 1 kg of alu-
has the potential, over the lifespan of the vehicles, minium replacing 1.5 kg of steel in a typical bus or
to reduce overall GHG emissions by 90 million truck reduces the greenhouse gas emission by
tonnes, assuming that all this aluminium was used about 40 kg over its lifetime (i.e. twice as much as
to replace denser materials. In addition, since alu- for a car). Finally, a railroad train, during its life-
minium has a high strength to weight ratio and a time, runs a distance of between 30 and 50 times
superior crash performance in terms of the specif- the distance of a typical car. The use of 1 kg of alu-
ic energy absorption, vehicles designed to use alu- minium replacing 1.6 kg of steel in a railway car
minium components can achieve the benefits of reduces the greenhouse gas emissions by more
light-weighting without reducing the safety of the than 200 kg (i.e. ten times as much as for a car)
passengers or the performance of the vehicle. It Thus the benefits of using more aluminium for
also means increased safety for passengers in other these applications are even greater. The reduction
vehicles involved in collisions with these lighter in the “dead weight” (empty weight) of ships
aluminium intensive vehicles. through the use of lighter weight aluminium can
also result in capacity increases per vessel trip, or
For the first decade of this millennium the use of energy reductions per trip, either of which results
aluminium in cars is predicted to double because in energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions.
of more cars world-wide and more aluminium in Current estimates show that globally there will be
cars. The US automobile fleet contained 116 kg of a 35% increase in CO2 emissions from all vehicles

Japanese Bullet Train

In Europe aluminium has high recycling rates,
ranging from 41% in beverage cans to 85% in con-
struction and 95% in transportation. In Japan the
recycling rate for cans was 79% and Brazil
achieved 78%. A kilo of used cans is worth more
to collectors than 15 kilos of plastic or 10 kilos of
paper. Americans recycled 62.6 billion aluminium
cans in 2000, for a beverage can recycling rate of
62%. For many groups, used aluminium cans turn
into new-found money thanks to aluminium can
industry initiatives. Initiatives include the
American Aluminum Association’s partnership
with Habitat for Humanity called “Aluminum
Cans Build Habitat for Humanity Homes”,
designed to boost public interest in aluminium can
recycling while helping volunteers and families
Incat Fast Ferry build homes.

Aluminium is durable, does not rust or need paint-

by the year 2020. An increased use of aluminium ing, which means reduced maintenance costs.
would reduce this figure to 28% and thus help Most of the aluminium ever produced is still in
towards making the transportation sector more use, between 400 and 500 million tonnes. It can
sustainable. be recycled and re-used again and again without
any deterioration in quality. Aluminium products

A 27 tonne ingot made from approximately 1.5
million used drink cans
The increasing use of recycled metal saves both
the energy and mineral resources needed for pri-
mary production. Once aluminium is used, it is
not lost to society. It can be recycled again and
again by present and future generations, using only
about 5% of the energy required for primary pro-
duction and generating only 5% of the greenhouse
gas emissions. Anything made of aluminium can
be recycled repeatedly; not only cans, but also alu-
minium foil, plates and pie moulds, window
frames, garden furniture and automotive compo-
nents. All can be melted down and re-used. Scrap
aluminium has significant value and commands
good market prices. Aluminium companies have
invested in dedicated, state of the art secondary
metal processing plants to recycle aluminium. In
the case of beverage cans, the process uses gas col-
lected from burning off the coating to preheat the
material prior to processing. The recycling of alu-
minium beverage cans eliminates waste. It saves
energy, conserves natural resources, reduces the
use of city landfills and provides added revenue for
recyclers, charities and local town administrations.
The aluminium can is therefore good news for the
environment and good for the economy.
Mining and metals companies were among the
ALUMINIUM CAN RECYCLING LOOP first to introduce the now common practice of
building and maintaining schools, clinics and
BOUGHT sports facilities for their employees. It is not
DELIVERED TO IN STORE uncommon for them to be made available to other
EMPTY CANS people living in the vicinity of the company loca-
A number of aluminium companies are engaged
with governments, non-governmental organisa-
INTO tions, academics and other like-minded companies
CAN in pursuit of a better understanding of their
MELTED respective roles in society. The companies help to
ALUMINIUM ROLLED DOWN AT fund research activities and participate in the
PLANT research. They help to guide the processes and
interpret the results. They sponsor global polls and
focus groups in order to understand better and be
able to respond to public concerns about their
operations and products. Several aluminium com-
have a longer life and require less maintenance panies have been selected as leaders in the field of
than other building materials and thus conserve sustainable development by Dow Jones, as well as
energy and resources. With the use of aluminium by Innovest and other ethical funds analysts.
in construction, its initial energy-intensive manu-
facture is more than compensated for in use phase
and can be fully recycled on demolition. Used in STAKEHOLDER
packaging, the good thermal conductivity of the ENGAGEMENT
aluminium leads to energy savings when cooling
drinks, for example, or heating up ready made In many parts of the world aluminium companies
meals. Furthermore, the energy first used to pro- have developed broad-based stakeholder consulta-
duce the metal is not lost. It is embodied in the tive mechanisms. These bodies are composed var-
products and is then “reactivated” during recy- iously of representatives of local communities and
cling. community organisations, governments and

The IAI and its counterpart associations from the

recycling industry have established a Global Aluminium Smelters site at Tiwai Point, New Zealand
Aluminium Recycling Committee, with represen-
tatives from every region of the world, to encourage
higher recycling rates. At present approximately a
third of world demand is met from recycled metal.
The Committee is monitoring scrap flows and
recycle rates in an effort to establish the basis for
estimating future scrap availability. This is depend-
ent on when current products with medium to long
life span enter or re-enter the scrap chain. Much
better global scrap statistics are required to improve
the use of available scrap material and ensure that
valuable metal is not going to landfill. A study is
also being conducted into the content of landfill
sites in the various regions.

social dimension
industry employee groups. Companies will not molten metal, where the consequences of not fol-
proceed with major projects without the broad- lowing the good practices can be fatal. Control of
based support of the community, as expressed these hazards is the key to reducing the risk of
through such consultative structures. In addition injury and illness in the aluminium industry. The
to communities, social obligations are also recog- figures used by the IAI for benchmarking are com-
nised to include other groups such as employees, mon safety indicators including:
customers and suppliers. An increasing number of Q Fatal Accident Rate (Fatal Accidents per 100
companies are adopting corporate ethics codes, million hours worked);
which are periodically revised in response to Q Lost time Accident Rate (Lost time
changing public expectations. Accidents per million hours worked);
Q Recordable Accident Rate (Lost time
Accidents + RestrictedWork Cases + Medical
Treatment Cases per million hours worked);
SAFETY & HEALTH Q Severity Rate (days lost per million hours
There are safety and health related risks involved Q Severity (days lost per Lost time Accident);
in all the processing steps, from bauxite mining
through alumina refining, aluminium electrolysis Since 1997 the IAI has collected comprehensive
and most fabrication processes. It is therefore nec- benchmarking data on safety performance in the
essary to identify systematically all the hazards, global aluminium industry and shared the results
have standards of good practice, committed man- within the industry. Such information is a driving
agement and systems for a structured follow up in force for continual improvement. The best per-
all the different phases. There are coordinated formers want to maintain their leadership and
safety initiatives on particular hazardous activities those lagging behind will be motivated to set their
such as the operation of mobile equipment, lifting own improved performance goals. In addition to
devices, material handling, combustion, high volt- benchmarking performance another important
age equipment as well as the handling of bath and activity is to share information on accidents and

Safety Performance Benchmarking 2000 Accident Rates by Plant Type and Year
Recordable Accidental Rate - Numerical Value Only
Accident Rate (Accidents per million hours worked)

J Restricted Work/Medical Treatment Accident Rate

J Lost Time Accident Rate


30 30
27 27



8 8

Smelters Smelters Refineries Refineries Mines Mines All Plants All Plants All Plants All Plants
1999 2000 1999 2000 1999 2000 1997 1998 1999 2000

why they happened. The aim is to learn how to development. This is consistent with the experi-
prevent any recurrence in accordance with the phi- ence that most accidents at work are behaviour
losophy that each accident is one too many and and organisation related.
that if one ignores the past we are condemned to
repeat it. Alcoa have achieved continuous improvement in
reducing the rate of accidents in their operations
The previous graph shows the trend in average through a systematic work and management com-
accident rates since 1997 in the areas of mining, mitment. Their average Lost Workday rate,
refining and smelting, all of which show improve- because of accidents and illnesses, is shown in the
ment. graph compared with the average US
Manufacturing rate. Their rate is now 10 times
In 1999 the IAI’s Board of Directors decided that lower than it was 10 years ago, and is now also 10
the names of the best performing mines, refineries times lower than the current average US manufac-
and smelters should be released, as should the best turing industry rate. There are many similar posi-
performer in each size category of smelter. The tive examples throughout the aluminium sector
sharing of information on good practices, has now and many companies have now declared a policy
been introduced to encourage the whole sector to of zero accidents as their ultimate goal.
improve their safety and health performance. In
2000 the IAI’s Safety Award was instituted to rec- Alcoa’s Lost Workday Rate
ognize the best performers. For 2000 the best per- 5
forming smelters were in India and Brazil and the Lost workday rate
per 200,000 hours
best performing alumina refinery was also in India. 4
No particular mine was selected since many were Manufacturing
in the best performing category. The graph below
shows the trend in average lost time accident rate
and severity rate for all the plants over the last cou-
ple of years. 1

Accident Rate and Severity Rate 0

1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2000
(Accidents per million hours worked)

All Plants 1999 PUBLIC SAFETY
All Plants 1997
Accident Rate

6 All Plants 1998

The aluminium construction of windows and
4 All Plants 2000
doors combined with fireproof glazing will help
prevent flames and smoke spreading to adjacent
rooms and corridors, for example in office build-
IAI Best Performers 2000
ings, hospitals and hotels. Because it is heat resist-
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 ant and does not burn, aluminium is also suitable
Severity Rate for protective clothing. Fire brigades and emer-
(Days lost per million hours)
gency services can get closer to sources of heat or
fire if they are wearing aluminium-coated full-
While there is still further work to be done to
body protection.
ensure the highest safety standards consistently in
all plants, progress so far has been encouraging.
The industry will continue to benchmark and HEALTH AND FITNESS
apply best practices within the industry. The IAI
will also seek to learn from the experience of other The aluminium industry is associated with differ-
industrial sectors. Besides investments in technical ent research facilities throughout the world, who
improvements, it is primarily practice-oriented carry out medical research on the metal or alu-
training and qualification measures, aimed at iden- minium products. The aim is to develop a safe
tifying risks, that have contributed to this positive environment for the workforce and safe products

for the consumers. The IAI Health Committee with dental treatment.The progress in Ouro Preto
plans to collect global statistics on absenteeism on is significant. The number of cases of tooth decay
health grounds and then benchmark performance. has been reduced by 89%.
It will also be assembling data on community
health projects and family health programmes.
The IAI’s Health Committee monitors incidences
and conducts surveys of industrial illnesses in alu- MOTORIST
minium plants around the world. The Global
Aluminium Health Research Committee funds A reduction in a vehicle’s weight improves safety
health literature reviews and, where appropriate, because the lighter the vehicle, the shorter its
commissions research into industrial and public breaking distance. A few metres can decide
health issues. Many companies carry out health whether or not an accident occurs and people are
screening to identify those employees unfit to per- injured. In addition, crash tests show that alu-
form their designated job tasks. Matching the right minium structures absorb at least as much energy
employee to the appropriate job means decreased as steel structures. Thus, flexible aluminium tubes
risk, enhanced productivity and job satisfaction.
Many companies run health fitness programmes
and provide fitness centres for the workforce and
their families. It was found in some companies that
fitness programmes reduced the cost of health care
by some 30% as well as providing positive com-
munity benefits.

Cameroon’s aluminium plant has developed spe-
cific programmes for the local population to com-
bat malaria and AIDS. The plant management
have developed the first integrated programme in
Africa (prevention and treatment) targeted at HIV
in the occupational field and in the local popula-
tion. They have also established a health centre are increasingly being used for the side-on crash
which is open to the population surrounding the protection in cars. Aluminium crash boxes
plant. In India the companies have developed between the bumper and the front of the vehicle
health programmes and hospital services for the serve to dissipate energy in the event of a head-on
local population near their plants. collision. The aluminium industry is working
together with car-makers to develop new materi-
An aluminium company community project ‘The als, especially for lighter and stiffer components.
Smiles Project’ in Ouro Preto, in the state of Minas Foamed aluminium is a new material that is lighter
Gerais, Brazil, has been recognised by UNICEF than water but nevertheless has an extremely high
and received awards.. There are seven buildings stiffness - a combination of properties which
with orthodontists in various quarters of the town makes it possible to improve the design of the col-
of Ouro Preto. This dental care project assists lapsible zone and to offer greater protection if col-
3,500 children up to seven years old belonging to lisions occur.
families in need. The children visit the centres,
with their parents, once a week. They receive MOBILITY
instructions on brushing teeth and general oral
hygiene from dental assistants and orthodontists. Whether it is a scooter, cycle, escalator or shopping
Later visits, if necessary, also provide the children trolley - every day we use products that contain

aluminium. This is especially the case when it In Jamaica, ongoing community projects include
comes to walking aids or transport aids for the dis- assistance to schools, the building of community
abled, the infirm or senior citizens. Where alu- centres, construction of playing fields, the provi-
minium is used to enable individuals to have an sion of water to neighbouring communities and
active social life without having to rely on third the upgrade and repair of public roads.


For many years companies have understood that
their licence to operate rests on the support of the
The industry provides education, healthcare and
communities in which they operate. As well as the
training for their workforce. In many parts of the
direct economic benefits which communities
world the industry also provides education, health-
derive from operations, the companies invest in
care and essential infrastructure for the broader
their communities through the provision of spon-
sorships and by support of local infrastructure and
institutions. One company has a One Million Trees For the past two years a religious organisation in
programme whereby their employees, their fami- Germany has been honouring companies whose
lies and communities have planted over 500,000 outstanding conduct has established social bench-
trees on five continents in the last three years. marks. A company from the aluminium industry
has been honoured each year for taking on long-
In Australia a close partnership has developed
term unemployed, for its relatively large number of
between the aluminium companies and the
apprenticeships and for encouragement given to
Aborigines. The native inhabitants are closely
female employees, its youth training effort and its
involved in the recultivation of bauxite mines. This
above-average employment of disabled persons.
applies, for example, to the landscaping, road-
Q In Russia the aluminium companies provide
building projects and medical care. Among other
grants for their employees’ children to receive
things, the aluminium industry has awarded the
higher education. The companies also spon-
Aborigines long-term contracts for the transport of
sor schools which their employees attend, by
bauxite or the provision of seeds for land recultiva-
providing teaching equipment and awarding
tion. This ensures that the native inhabitants have
scholarships to future employees;
a reliable source of income for decades.
Q In Brazil aluminium companies provide ele-

In Brazil around the bauxite mining area there are mentary school education for the children of
a number of small villages, so-called quilombos, their employees and also for children from the
which were set up about 200 years ago by escaped neighbouring villages.They are also providing
slaves (Quilombolas). The Quilombolas use the education materials on environmental
rain forest in a traditional manner. Therefore, with responsibility to over 25,000 school children
the participation of the Brazilian environmental (grades 1-4) in three separate communities.
authorities, the aluminium producers are trying to The programme also involves the training of
balance out their interests and those of the over 600 local teachers in environmental edu-
Quilombolas. The Brazilian aluminium industry is cation and motivating students to learn
actively engaged in a number of social projects that about environmental responsibility;
help the Quilombolas to help themselves, includ- Q Aluminium Bahrain regularly awards scholar-

ing projects in the following fields: ships to the children of its employees to
Q Poultry and fish farming, fruit and vegetable enable them to have a university education.
gardens as well as beekeeping, in order to So far 190 scholarships have been awarded.
improve nutrition and income in the For the younger children of employees sum-
quilombos; mer camps are held every year, offering chil-
Q Schooling, medical care and helping villagers dren the chance to participate in a
to make claims for the land rights in their number of leisure activities and sports. Older
local areas with the Brazilian government. children are offered courses to learn comput-
er skills.

One development project where aluminium can
provide useful support is the widespread use of
solar cookers in Third World countries. According
to the charity Deutsche Welthungerhilfe there are
about two billion people in the world today who
rely on firewood for cooking. In some regions the
local forestry can no longer satisfy people’s needs.
In addition, chopping down trees leads to heavy
soil erosion, the ground becomes impoverished,
the water table is lowered and once-fertile land
becomes desert. The use of solar cookers helps
counteract this development.

The collectors, which are similar to a satellite dish,

are made of anodised bright-polished aluminium
sheet and they focus the suns rays. The cooking
area is at the focal point and can reach tempera-
tures of 700 degrees Celsius. The aluminium
industry is promoting the wider use of solar cook-
ers. For example, the Germany-based Aluminium
Association (GDA) is supporting a joint project
between the German Federal Ministry for
Economic Co-operation and Development and
the German Society for Technical Co-operation,
GT7. This covers the manufacture and distribu-
tion of solar cookers in South Africa.
means of implementation
GREENHOUSE GAS formance graph showing where it ranks in relation
to the performance of other de-identified plants
REDUCTION with similar technology. A series of regional work-
shops are being organised to promote the spread of
The 1997 PFC Survey highlighted the consider- good practice throughout the industry.
able variation in performance between smelters Companies are being encouraged and where
using different types of technology and even appropriate assisted to carry out actual sample
between smelters using the same technology so measurements from the potroom ducts. This also
there is still considerable potential for improve- helps to provide a solid base for building a set of
ment. The reduction in the frequency and dura- data stretching back to 1990, which would be suit-
tion of anode effects, which give rise to most PFC able for third party verification.
emissions, has a benefit. Not only does it reduce
emissions but it also helps to optimise process effi- In future the introduction of inert anodes and the
ciency. The IAI’s PFC Reduction Initiative replacement over time of carbon anodes could
involves: eventually eliminate PFC emissions.
Q Surveying producers for anode effect data;
Q Publishing reports that serve as a data source
on PFCs from aluminium production; FUTURE APPROACH TO
Q Providing advice on good practices for PFC
measurement procedures;
Q Conducting workshops or benchmarking DEVELOPMENT
and good practices for the reduction of anode
effects; The IAI is looking at a two tiered approach which
Q Collaborating with national regulatory agen- will involve organising workshops to share experi-
cies, international business groups and mem- ence and good practice amongst member compa-
ber companies to develop better PFC inven- nies. In this way the small to medium size compa-
tories; nies as well as the larger ones, can be made aware,
Q Sponsoring fundamental atmospheric of the international importance of sustainable
research to understand better how PFCs development and of the need to make it part of
affect climate change; their company’s own management and operating
Q Sponsoring measurements of PFCs in histor- philosophy. Ultimately sustainable development
ical air samples to establish the relationship performance indicators need to be framed so that
with aluminium production. they can not only serve as a useful evaluation tool
in terms of satisfying stakeholder concerns but are
The IAI has introduced a benchmarking pro- also of value to managers when measuring their
gramme. Each reporting smelter receives a per- business’s performance.