Aluminum icon lauds most recycled metal

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-09-14 08:01
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 Aluminum icon lauds most recycled metal

The Alcoa Bohai Plant Litro Line. Sheet aluminum has almost universal uses in daily life.   Provided to China Daily

75% of all produced since 1888 is still in use today

Founded more than 120 years ago, Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina.

It has been named one of the most sustainable corporations during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2001.

Alcoa China has earned the Multinational Corporations in China Contribution Award and the International Enterprise Contribution to Low Carbon China Award.

Dr Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa, noted: "Sustainability is about more than 'doing good'. It is also about smart business. For Alcoa, it is part of our approach of integrating sustainability into all corporate decision making."

Miracle metal

Aluminum itself is the most sustainable, versatile and infinitely recyclable miracle metal - light, strong, shiny, and it never rusts. About 75 percent of all of the aluminum produced since 1888 is still in active use today, he said.

It is infinitely recyclable. Every time aluminum is recycled, it uses 95 percent less energy than when it was first made - preserving precious energy resources.

The metal is used throughout technology development and daily life.

Innovative approach

Alcoa was founded by one of the two inventors of the aluminum process in 1888.

For more than 120 years, Alcoa has been behind just about every major milestone in the industry. A key to this success is innovation.

"Alcoa innovation was in the engine in man's first flight, and it's still in just about every air- and spacecraft flying today," he noted.

Almost all aluminum aerospace alloys in use today were originally developed by Alcoa.

Alcoa aluminum makes vehicles lighter, safer and greener and helps make cleaner, greener buildings in which to live, work and play.

It keeps food and beverages convenient, and it makes gadgets last longer and look cooler.

Range of use

Since the dawn of aviation, Alcoa has continued to enhance and broaden its product portfolio to meet customer needs and help them explore new frontiers.

The company developed the world's largest aerospace forgings to reduce weight and lower cost.

Alcoa Howmet is the world leader in single-crystal technology for advanced castings that withstand the extreme temperatures of clean-burning aircraft engines.

In transportation, from increased fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions to crash protection without compromise and enhanced driving performance, Alcoa aluminum builds a better car, truck, trailer or vessel.

When all other factors are equal, lighter cars accelerate faster, stop faster and have better handling - that's why many top performance cars are all-aluminum.

And aluminum's light weight saves fuel costs. For every 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight, there is a 5 to 7 percent savings in fuel.

In consumer products, Alcoa aluminum allows manufacturers to create thinner, lighter and more durable consumer electronic products in a wide variety of attractive looks and finishes. It is preferred by designers because it is contemporary, stronger and has an authentic, natural feel.

Alcoa offers aluminum alloys made from 25 percent recycled content to make electronics more sustainable and eco-friendly, and provides the consumer electronics market both material and design expertise, along with a global technology organization and production facilities to meet customer needs.

In packaging, Alcoa innovations offer premium, high-end packaging options. Last year, it shipped enough aluminum container sheet to make 100 billion recyclable cans.

In addition, our company's product helps drive innovation in high performance, ultra-thermal cladding solutions by preserving the advantages of high-performance glass.

It offers highly reflective surface finishes that allow for efficient light management and lower energy consumption - keeping buildings cool in hot climates.

Sustainability value

At Alcoa, sustainability is defined as using its values to build financial success, environmental excellence and social responsibility in partnership with all stakeholders to deliver net long-term benefits to its shareowners, employees, customers, suppliers and the communities in which it operates.

The company felt it necessary to define sustainability in a way that takes it to the operational levels within the company.

As such, Alcoa is committed to regularly reviewing its sustainability performance.

It has been setting goals and publicly reporting its results in its annual Sustainability Report since 1993 to be fully transparent and to provide significant information to all of its stakeholders.

Climate change

Alcoa views climate change as one of the most central sustainability issues facing the aluminum industry globally.

The company is determined to do its part, and to provide leadership on the issue wherever it can.

Alcoa is already regarded as a leader in the aluminum industry in addressing climate change.

While technology and innovation are leading the way for future reductions in greenhouse intensity, the product it creates also has an important role to play through reducing the weight of finished products and recycling.

Aluminum recycling saves 95 percent of the energy used to create new metal.

On top to this, using aluminum as the durable material of choice for many products ensures a long lifetime and helps to prevent waste.

Alcoa has reduced its own greenhouse emissions by more than a third since 1990.

Through Alcoa Foundation, it invested millions of dollars in the communities and sustainability programs worldwide.

Most recently, the Alcoa Foundation is partnering with USAP on its environmental sustainability strategy to be carbon-neutral throughout the Shanghai Expo 2010.

And every day, sustainability drives the volunteer efforts of thousands of Alcoans in the communities around the world.

 Aluminum icon lauds most recycled metal

Dr Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa.

(China Daily 09/14/2010 page13)