News & Opinions

News & Opinions



International Aluminium Institute releases global aluminium industry 2050 climate pathways

Aluminium industry identifies three areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

London, 16 March 2021 – The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today published the most comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions reductions pathways available to the aluminium sector over the next three decades. The pathways are based on the IAI’s unrivalled data and leading analysis of the global aluminium industry.

The new report, Aluminium Sector Greenhouse Gas Pathways to 2050, sets out three credible and realistic approaches to emissions reductions for the aluminium industry, in line with the International Energy Agency’s Beyond 2 Degree Scenario.

While the industry works to reduce its emissions by about 80%, demand for aluminium products is also predicted to grow. Over the coming decades, global demand for primary aluminium will increase by up to 40% and recycled aluminium from post-consumer scrap will more than triple through to 2050, as economies grow, urbanise, and build up their infrastructure.

Simultaneously reducing emissions while meeting increasing demand will require huge investment in production technologies, along with commitment from all along the value chain.

“Emissions reduction is a challenge for every sector. It is, however, a challenge that the aluminium sector is poised to address. Over the last two years, a Greenhouse Gas Pathways Working Group made up of IAI member companies and regional associations has been working to articulate credible ways to achieve global climate goals. This collaboration is what has resulted in the industry’s most comprehensive pathways, which we have published today,” said Miles Prosser, the IAI’s Secretary General.

The pathways are:

1. Electricity decarbonisation - More than sixty percent of the aluminium sector’s 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2e emissions (2018) are from the production of electricity consumed during the smelting process. Decarbonised power generation and the deployment of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) offer the most significant opportunity to reduce emissions to near zero by 2050.

2. Direct emissions - Emissions from fuel combustion make up 15% of the industry's emissions. Here, electrification, fuel switching to green hydrogen and CCUS offer the most credible pathways. Process emissions make up a further 15% and require new technologies, such as inert anodes. These emissions and those in transport and raw materials will need to be reduced by 50-60% from a Business as Usual (BAU) baseline scenario by 2050.

3. Recycling and resource efficiency - Increasing collection rates to near 100% as well as other resource efficiency progress by 2050 would reduce the need for primary aluminium by 20% compared to BAU, which in turn will cut the sector's emissions by an additional 300 million tonnes of CO2e per year - a figure second in magnitude only to the first pathway, electricity decarbonisation.

Aluminium is vital to our society. Our homes, workplaces, vehicles, digital devices, packaging, buildings that provide shelter and security – to name just a few examples – rely heavily on aluminium. Aluminium is also integral to global emissions reduction efforts, with solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles all depending on it.

Mr Prosser added: “The IAI has collected and produced information on industry emissions for some time now, recently publishing 15 years of emissions data by source and covering all production processes from cradle to gate.

“This includes all the emissions generated in smelting as well as those embedded in raw and secondary materials and the energy that the sector consumes. This is the most comprehensive, detailed and up-to-date dataset that exists not just for aluminium but also any material today.

“This greenhouse gas data and the material flow analysis modelling, which is used to produce robust scenarios for primary and recycled aluminium, underpins the pathways we have unveiled today, which will play a vital role in helping aluminium industry stakeholders choose the necessary actions to achieve global climate goals.

“Sustainability across the full range of issues is central to aluminium’s future, and reductions in greenhouse gases are a critical component of that.”

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) is the only body representing the global primary aluminium industry. The Institute has the most comprehensive global data on aluminium with more than 40 years of analysis on production, consumption, energy use and environmental impact. Visit www.world-aluminium.org for more information. Download the report here

Media enquiries: media@world-aluminium.org





International Aluminium Institute announces leadership transition

Today, the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has announced that Deputy Secretary General, Chris Bayliss, will be moving on to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) as Director of Standards at the end of April.

Pernelle Nunez, Director - Sustainability will act as Deputy Secretary General until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Chris has had a distinguished career at the IAI, having played a leading role in the aluminium industry's sustainability, policy-led research and analysis, and stakeholder engagement. He has also been involved in a range of collaborative projects, including the industry's greenhouse gas emissions pathway work, health performance measurement tools, the global aluminium material flow model and The Aluminium Story.

In his farewell, Chris Bayliss said "working at the Institute for the last nineteen years has been a pleasure and a privilege. I am proud to have served the diverse membership of the IAI and to have played a part in furthering the vital role of aluminium as an enabler of sustainable development. I’m looking forward to continuing to engage with the IAI in my new role at ASI and to helping drive positive change in the sector."

IAI Secretary General, Miles Prosser thanked Chris for his contribution to the IAI, noting that "Chris helped to build a culture of reliance on data and rigorous analysis and membership engagement and the IAI is a strong and respected organisation today because of this. We will miss Chris, but he leaves IAI in a solid position with a team fully prepared for the work ahead. We have all benefitted greatly from Chris' intellect, openness, and professionalism. As our industry grows, the IAI's role has become even more crucial - an organisation that positively impacts the global circular economy discourse. Chris' move to ASI means we will continue to benefit from his skills and have an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two organisations further."



International Aluminium Institute launches Bauxite Residue Roadmap

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today launched the Bauxite Residue Roadmap to maximise the use of bauxite residue in cement and concrete products. The roadmap provides information that addresses concerns, prejudices, technical and legislative barriers to bauxite residue use.

According to the IAI, bauxite residue production is likely to reach approximately one hundred and sixty million tonnes (Mt) in 2020 and a 7 to 8 billion tonne inventory by 2040.

Launching the roadmap, Katy Tsesmelis Director – Refining & Safety at the IAI noted: “Global metallurgical alumina production is forecasted to increase from 124 million tonnes in 2019 to 178 million tonnes by 2040. As alumina production increases so too will the production of bauxite residue (BR), which is generated by the extraction of alumina from bauxite during the Bayer process. As an industry, we are committed to finding solutions to minimise the social, environmental and economic impacts of bauxite residue.”

This roadmap has identified six key pathways that can help the industry deliver success:

• Provide solutions to existing barriers and fill knowledge gaps;
• Establish joint research projects between alumina, cement & concrete producers to investigate the use of BR in Portland Cement Clinker (PCC) or Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) for blended cement and develop technical approval documents;
• Demonstrate benefits in carbon dioxide emission reduction that can be achieved using BR in PCC & SCM for blended cements;
• Establish the level of interest & preparedness in incorporating BR in PCC & SCM for blended cements;
• Encourage the use of BR in cement & concrete products to further the circular economy; and Promote the use of BR in PCC & SCM for blended cements in sourcing & public procurement policies;

The success of these pathways requires collaboration and commitment between several industry and other stakeholders. Alongside the roadmap is a Bauxite Residue in Cement Calculation Tool that provides a simple assessment of the possible benefits of bauxite residue in cement products.

The energy, environmental and financial benefits of using BR in the cement and concrete industry are not well understood. This Tool evaluates electricity use, fuel consumption, expected emissions and related costs per tonne of material produced, comparing all possible scenarios of adding the residue to the baseline of the normal operation of the cement plant.

In a related development, the IAI, 7 European alumina producers and global cement producer LafargeHolcim, together with 12 other partners, has received EUR 8.8 million of EU funding for an initiative aiming to transform bauxite residue into an active material for new sustainable cement products. With the goal of substituting about 30% of clinker, the main component in the cement-making process, this will be an important milestone for both industries. LafargeHolcim is coordinating the project, named ReActiv (H2020 ECGA 958208).

The IAI’s role is to foster collaboration between alumina companies to use their combined strength to solve an industry-wide challenge. The IAI will also provide expertise and help in disseminating and communicating project results.

“With this new funding, comes the opportunity to test and scale up the use of technologies to enable the use of by-products in other industrial sectors. The IAI is looking forward to working with all the organisations involved to ensure that the success and outcomes of this project can be replicated elsewhere”, Ms Tsesmelis said.

Download the Bauxite Residue in Cement Roadmap



International Aluminium Institute Publishes New Fatigue Risk Management Guidelines for Industry

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today published a set of guidelines on how to develop systems to manage fatigue risks in the aluminium industry.

The Fatigue Risk Management Guidelines will provide IAI member companies and other aluminium industry stakeholders with a systematic approach to managing fatigue in the workplace.

Key recommendations:

• IAI Member companies should include “fatigue” as a specifically listed contributing factor in incident reporting and also in accident investigation systems;
• As appropriate, IAI Member companies should integrate the fatigue risk management approach within existing health & safety, wellness, and human resources initiatives;
• IAI Member companies should deploy comprehensive training that focuses on the science of sleep, fatigue physiology, sleep disorders, alertness, etc;
• IAI Member companies may also make use of technologies (such as app-based personal monitoring, vehicle operator-centred systems, pre-shift testing etc.) to assist in the measurement and management of fatigue.

Commenting on the Guidelines, IAI Deputy Secretary General, Chris Bayliss said: “There is overwhelming evidence that fatigue, a consequence of lack of sleep, negatively impacts the health and safety of workers. It is therefore important that fatigue is identified as a health and safety risk and management system are put in place to control that risk. This is particularly relevant as the industry adapts its working practices to manage Covid and other disease transmission risks.”

Fatigue is about lack of sleep and is a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness and can be physical, mental or a combination of both. It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life.

The IAI, therefore, considers these guidelines to be of the utmost importance in protecting the safety and wellbeing of the industry’s workforce and safety in the workplace.

Bayliss added: “It is essential that organisations begin to look at how fatigue can be considered within existing or emerging health and safety risk management systems and that such systems get buy in from workers as well as management. Fatigue risk management is a shared responsibility of both the employer and the employee and must be implemented across organisations. If all stakeholders work together, they can build a culture of fatigue awareness which will benefit all.”

This newly published document aligns with global standardised approaches used for managing occupational health and safety and workplace psychological health and safety.

Download the Fatigue Risk Management Guidelines here.



International Aluminium Institute publishes global recycling data

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today released global aluminium recycling data.

According to figures from the IAI, recycling just one aluminium can conserves enough energy to recharge up to 20 mobile phones, while global aluminium recycling saves enough energy every year to power the whole of France.

Commenting on the recycling data, Marlen Bertram, IAI’s Director - Product Stewardship said:

“Aluminium is one of the most recycled materials on earth. Today, the global recycling efficiency rate is 76%. High recycling rates in all regions underline the economic and environmental value of aluminium scrap. With comprehensive statistical data and pioneering material flow analysis, the IAI can track scrap globally from source to consumer by product, quality, form and region.”

The release of figures coincides with the third World Statistics Day (20th October), which is celebrated every five years. This year, World Statistics Day will reflect on the importance of trust and authoritative data.

Over the last 40 years, the IAI has provided the most credible, representative and authoritative data for the global aluminium industry and continues to provide reliable statistics and rigorous analytical expertise.

Ms Bertram noted: “With comprehensive statistical data and pioneering material flow analysis, the IAI can track scrap aluminium globally from source to consumer by product, quality, form and region.”

According to the IAI, every year, more than 30 million tonnes of aluminium scrap is recycled globally, ensuring its status as one of the most recycled materials on the planet.

Ms Bertram said: “Aluminium is central to a sustainable future, because of its unique combination of properties, including lightness, strength, durability, and recyclability. Rapid population and economic growth over the coming decade mean that global demand for aluminium will double through to 2050, and this will be met by 50% to 60% recycled metal. To ensure a sustainable circular economy, especially post-COVID, we need to improve and maintain high recycling rates across the world."

Aluminium can be remelted and reused without any impact on its unique properties. This means that aluminium products can be recycled repeatedly.

According to the IAI, Europe has the highest Recycling Efficiency Rate (RER) in the world, recovering 81 per cent of aluminium scrap available in the region.

North America has the world’s highest Recycling Input Rate (RIR) with 57 per cent of the metal produced in the region originating from scrap.

China, which is the largest consumer of both primary and recycled aluminium, also produces more than 10 million tonnes of scrap aluminium each year, accounting for a third of the annual global total.

Key Facts

• Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving 40,000 miles in an average vehicle in the USA.
• Recycling aluminium requires 95 per cent less energy than production from ore.
• Almost 75 per cent of the 1.5 billion tonnes of aluminium ever produced is still in use today.
• Almost 70 per cent of all drinks can are recycled – making it the most recycled drinks container on earth.

Download the factsheet here

About the IAI

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) is the only body representing the global primary aluminium industry. The Institute has the most comprehensive global data on aluminium with more than 40 years of analysis on production, consumption, energy use and environmental impact. Visit www.world-aluminium.org for more information.

To find out more about IAI’s data along the aluminium value chain, visit Alucycle.

Media enquiries: media@world-aluminium.org



NEWS: September 2020 Global Primary Aluminium Production

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today released September production numbers for primary aluminium. According to the data:

• Global primary aluminium production is estimated to be 5,424 (kt) at a daily rate of 180.8
• Production daily average increased by 1.46% compared to August.
• Estimated Chinese production was 3,150 (kt)
• Africa production was 131 (kt) • North American was 317 (kt)
• South American was 83 (kt)
• Asia (ex China) was 348 (kt)
• Western Europe production was 270 (kt)
• East & Central Europe was 338 (kt)
• Oceania was 158 (kt)
• GCC (Gulf) production was 465 (kt)

Overall, primary aluminium production in September increased by 3.97% year-on-year.

Miles Prosser, IAI Secretary General notes: "As we mark World Statistics Day today, I'd like to highlight IAI's record in providing the most credible, representative and authoritative data for the global aluminium industry in the last 40 years. Our regular aluminium statistics (among others) is proof of our commitment to continue to provide reliable data and rigorous analytical expertise in our industry."



NEWS: IAI welcomes IEA October 2020 Tracking Report for the aluminium sector

The October 2020 Tracking Report for the aluminium sector is the latest in a series of reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that has benefited from input and data from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI).

In a statement, the IAI noted that:

• The report’s recommendations for increased integration of renewable electricity, deployment of low carbon technologies and improved material efficiency are in line with the IAI’s own conclusions which even go further to add that decarbonisation of other direct emissions sources in the aluminium value chain are important focal areas too.
• While the IEA’s scope and date range are narrower, the report broadly articulates similar points from the IAI, which sees a reduction in total sectoral indirect emissions intensity of almost 80% required by 2050, under a Below 2 Degree Scenario.
• This challenging decarbonisation pathway, applicable to all high energy consuming, hard to abate sectors, will require significant technological research, development and deployment, as well as unprecedented investment.
• The IEA report’s recognition that aluminium demand will rise in the future is reflected in the IAI’s Alucycle scenarios, as well as recent reports from OECD and World Bank.”

The IAI will continue to work closely with the IEA to ensure that the best available data is used for defining sectoral decarbonisation pathways, including energy and emissions data from across the aluminium value chain.



July Alumina Production


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The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has today released July production figures for primary aluminium. According to the data:

• Global primary aluminium production is estimated to be 5,452 (kt) at a daily rate of 175.9
• Production daily average decreased by 0.34% compared to June
• Estimated Chinese production was 3,131 (kt)
• Africa production was 133 (kt)
• North American was 333 (kt)
• South American was 78 (kt)
• Asia (ex China) was 343 (kt)
• Western Europe production was 283 (kt)
• East & Central Europe was 349 (kt)
• Oceania was 164 (kt)
• GCC (Gulf) production was 488 (kt)

Overall, primary aluminium production in July increased by 0.63% year-on-year.

Get the latest data here



NEWS: IAI welcomes Hindalco-UltraTech partnership


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Following news that Hindalco has become the 1st first-ever company to achieve 100% red mud utilisation worldwide, Secretary General for the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), Miles Prosser, said: “For successfully exploring new uses for Bauxite Residue in the cement industry, I’d like to congratulate IAI member Hindalco and UltraTech Cement for this fantastic achievement. If aluminium by-products can also deliver environmental benefits in another industry, such as cement, then we are making great progress towards a sustainable circular economy. Hindalco has contributed immensely to our work on Bauxite Residue in cement production and we’re looking forward to learning from them and hope to replicate their success across the industry. Our long term goal is to find uses for the industry’s by-products to ensure the least possible environmental disruption.”



OPINION: Miles Prosser, Secretary-General of the International Aluminium Institute speaks to AlCircle


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AlCircle: Currently, IAI membership represents over 60% of global bauxite, alumina and aluminium production. Could you please share your views on the emergence and importance of Industry 4.0?

Mr Miles Prosser: Digital technologies are everywhere, affecting the way we live, work, travel and play. Digitalisation is helping improve the safety, productivity, accessibility and sustainability of systems and industries around the world. If adopted well, digital technologies have the potential to deliver exceptional value to various aspects of our lives.

Find the full interview here



NEWS: June Alumina Production


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• Global alumina production is estimated to be 10,980 (kt) at a daily rate of 366.0
• Production daily average increased by 0.41% compared to May
• Estimated Chinese production was 5,671 (kt)
• Overall, alumina production in June increased 0.22% year-on-year

Get the latest data here



NEWS: June 2020 Global Primary Aluminium Production


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• Global primary aluminium production in June is estimated to be 5,274 kt (kilo tonnes) at a daily rate of 175.8
• Production daily average increased by 0.06% compared to May.
• Estimated Chinese production was 3,005 kt
• Africa production was 129 kt
• North American was 330 kt
• South American was 73 kt
• Asia (ex China) was 337 kt
• Western Europe production was 273 kt
• East & Central Europe was 340 kt
• Oceania was 158 kt
• GCC (Gulf) production was 479 kt

Miles Prosser, IAI Secretary General notes: "Overall, primary aluminium production in June increased 0.23% year-on-year, and despite short term challenges, demand is set to continue to grow in the medium term as governments invest in post-Covid economic recovery."

Get the latest data here



NEWS: IAI responds to Hydro-UFPA agreement on sustainable research on bauxite residue


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Commenting on the agreement between Hydro and UNFPA, Miles Prosser, Secretary General of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), welcomed the partnership noting that:
“Finding new uses for by-products from aluminium production is an important part of meeting's society's expectations on our industry. If aluminium by-products can also deliver environmental benefits in another industry, such as cement, then we are making great progress towards a sustainable circular economy. Hydro has been actively engaged in IAI’s work in increasing the use of bauxite residue in cement and concrete products and so this development is welcome news.”

Click here for more information



OPINION: Aluminium Industry: Optimism Lies Ahead Post Covid


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At the start of 2020, there was a feeling that the global economy was finally shaking off the effects of the financial downturn of a decade ago. But then COVID-19 struck and since then, no industry has been spared the effects of the pandemic including the aluminium industry. Miles Prosser and Chris Bayliss take a look at the industry post Covid

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NEWS: New Report Provides Optimism For Aluminium Industry Post Covid


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A new report by global independent research analysts, CM Group, reveals greater optimism for the aluminium industry post-Covid with global aluminium demand expected to reach 298 million tonnes per year (mtpy) by 2050.

Click here for more information