Aluminium used in architecture

One More Reason to Love Our Aluminium

Responsibly produced and soon to be recycled too

Last updated: 17 September 2020


At Rio Tinto, we are always looking for ways to produce our materials more sustainably. So when our customers asked us to find a way to reuse their scrap metal it was an enthusiastic “you bet” from us.

From 2021, we will offer our aluminium customers in Canada and the US high-quality alloys made with recycled content, with a new service to recycle their aluminium scrap. And that is just the start.

Aluminium employee

Working together for more sustainable aluminium

Shawinigan Aluminium Inc. (SAI) will build a US$7 million state-of-the-art melting facility in Quebec, Canada. Once completed, it will be able to recycle up to 30,000 tonnes of our customers’ aluminium a year. We will use the recycled scrap to make alloys suited to each customer’s specific needs.

From electric vehicles to wind turbines to special alloys for lighter wheels, aluminium is set to play a big role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Here are some of the things that make our aluminium a more sustainable choice:

  • In 2016, we launched the industry’s first certified low carbon aluminium, RenewAl™.
    And in 2019, we created Revolution-Al™, a new alloy designed to make lighter and stronger car wheels, helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
  • It meets the highest possible environmental, social and governance standards.
    In 2018, we became the first company to receive certification from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), assuring our aluminium as responsibly produced.
  • Across our global aluminium operations, our carbon footprint is 60% below the industry average.
    Combining clean, Canadian hydropower with our leading edge technology, we produce aluminium with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world.
  • We are working to reduce the environmental footprint of the aluminium industry on a global scale.
    ELYSIS, our joint venture with Alcoa with support from Apple and the Canadian and Quebec governments, is set to replace greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the smelting process with pure oxygen. In Canada alone, the use of this technology could reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons – the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
  • And soon, we will offer aluminium made from recycled scrap.
    By working with Shawinigan Aluminium Inc., we will be able to provide our customers in Canada and the US with another way to meet increasing consumer demand for sustainable products. And – in a small way – play our part in working towards a more sustainable, low-carbon economy too.
Aluminium used in kayak materials

The many lives of aluminium

One of the things we love about this metal (and there are many!) is that it can be recycled over and over without losing any of its properties. In fact, aluminium is so efficient that 90 per cent of what is used in both the automotive and construction industry is made from entirely recycled sources. Just one more reason to love aluminium. 

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