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Aluminum producer Arconic targeting 30% reduction in GHG emissions intensity by 2030


Aims to cut energy intensity 10% compared with 2021 baseline

Company to increase low-carbon prime aluminum sourcing

Increasing scrap use to lower scope 3 emissions

  • Author
  • Justine Coyne
  • Editor
  • Derek Sands
  • Commodity
  • Energy Transition Natural Gas Metals
  • Topic
  • Emissions and Carbon Intensity Energy Transition Environment and Sustainability

US-based downstream aluminum producer Arconic is targeting a 30% reduction in its scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions intensity and 10% reduction in energy intensity by 2030 compared to a 2021 baseline, the company said June 1.

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Arconic's total GHG emissions intensity was reported at 10.28 mt CO2e/mt of third-party shipments in 2021, according to its 2022 sustainability report. For 2022, it reported 9.28 mt CO2e/mt of third-party shipments. These figures include scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

For energy intensity, the company reported 16.62 Gj/mt of third-party shipments in 2021 with the 2022 rate rising to 16.68 Gj/mt of third-party shipments due to increased shipments.

To achieve a reduction in scope 1 emissions, the company said it plans to improve energy efficiencies and target reduction opportunities at operations. It also is looking at electrified solutions to reduce natural gas and fuel combustion.

For scope 2, Arconic said it will implement low-carbon power and support energy grid transition.

To reduce scope 3 emissions, the company said it will increase low-carbon prime aluminum sourcing, increase scrap content in alloys and partner to advance traceability and accounting.

"In 2022, we worked to decrease emissions from purchased metal, which is the largest contributor to our Scope 3 emissions, by reducing primary metal volume by 11% and increasing scrap volume by 54%," Arconic said in its sustainability report.

The strategy resulted in a 13% reduction in the carbon intensity of purchased metal, leading to an approximate 11% reduction in scope 3 emissions intensity, according to the company.

"Moving forward, we endeavor to further pursue procurement opportunities for low-emitting materials, such as secondary aluminum, which is 94% less carbon-intensive than primary aluminum, while meeting our product quality specifications," it said.

The global aluminum sector was responsible for about 3% of the world's 9.4 Gt of direct industrial CO2 emissions in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency. The sector was directly responsible for 275 million mt of CO2 emissions in 2021, with alumina refining and aluminum smelting responsible for over 90% of aluminum production's direct CO2 emissions, according to the IEA.

Arconic produces aluminum sheet, plate, extrusions and architectural products. It has 20 major manufacturing operations throughout North America, Europe and China.