Aluminum - Results

The Aluminum Association and the federal government have document progress in the Climate Vision program. The results are measured by metrics developed by the industry, in partnership with the government, and reported. Progress will also be tracked under the umbrella of the Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership website. Please check back on this website and the Energy Information Agency website for updates. In 2005, the industry achieved the goal set for 2010. A 56 percent reduction in direct process emissions per ton of production, including combined reductions in PFC's and CO2, exceeds the 53 percent commitment for 2010. Further progress is expected in the industry, however complications from high power costs and potential curtailments make predictions for further reductions difficult to predict.

Direct Process Emission 2010 Goals :
53% below Year 1990; 25% below Year 2000
Achievement : 56% reduction 1990 to 2005

*Source: EPA Climate Protection Division

Direct Process Emission 2010 Goals

For absolute reductions, in 2005 the Partnership reduced direct CO2-equivalent emissions by 8.39 MMTCO2-eq compared to business-as-usual.

Curbside Value Program

The Climate Vision agreement includes efforts to address mechanisms to improve recycling of aluminum cans. To achieve can recycling progress, a pilot program is underway called the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP). The CVP is a national partnership funded by the Aluminum Association and the Can Manufacturers Institute, offered to cities, waste haulers, and MRFS, designed to increase the economic value and payback of local curbside recycling streams. The goals of the program include:

  • Increase the aluminum can recycling rate.
  • Create a cost effective model for cities to implement self-sustaining recycling programs.
  • Promote self sustaining recycling efforts by emphasizing value for the community and by providing advantageous business models to provide collection incentives.

For 2006, the CVP program set a goal and has achieved a 50% participation rate by the top 100 MRF's in the United States. More information on the CVP is available at their website:

Spent Potliner (SPL) Waste Utilization Program

SPL is a waste byproduct from primary aluminum production comprised of disposed solid carbonaceous material when aluminum production cells are relined. A two phase testing program has been completed in late 2005 and demonstrates the feasibility and substantial energy, emissions and kiln production benefits of SPL processing. The benefits from SPL use in cement kilns include: complete kiln destruction of all SPL waste constituents of concern eliminating landfill disposal, reduction of cement kiln nitrogen oxide emissions, improved clinker quality from SPL mineralization benefits and fluoride utilization (also reducing the need for fluorspar in cement kiln operations), and reduced feedstock needs of alumina and silica for cement production. SPL used in a cement kiln would replace the equivalent of at least 1/3 of a ton of coal and result in a greater output of cement production.

Energy efficiency, transportation sector - light-weight vehicles, recycling

Together with the North American automotive industry, the Aluminum Association has conducted a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of aluminum use in the automobile and light truck transportation segment. The peer reviewed study demonstrated that one pound of aluminum used in automobiles and light trucks saves over the lifetime of the vehicle an average of at least 20 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Aluminum use in the automobile and light truck market of the U.S. has grown from an average of 183 pounds per vehicle in 1991, to 295 pounds in 2004. Current projections forecast that this trend will continue with aluminum use expected at levels over 315 pounds per vehicle on average in 2010. At those projected aluminum use levels, at least 820 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions will be saved per vehicle produced over their operating lifetime for 2010 models compared to 2002 models.

GHG Measurement and Reporting Protocol

In a continuing effort to advance and improve the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from aluminum operations, the industry through cooperative efforts with the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) and EPA, has recently seen approval in October 2006 by the World Resources Institute (WRI) a revised and updated Aluminum Sector Greenhouse Gas Inventory Protocol.


Page Last Modified:   August 7, 2008