Aluminium cans

Sustainability – the expectation, not the exception

Shaping our aluminium product offering to meet demand for greener metals

LAST UPDATED: 12 June 2023


We’re seeing a decisive shift in society’s intentions towards the energy transition and sustainability goals.

Governments in the US, Europe and Canada are adopting policies to shift what’s known as the energy trilemma – energy security, energy affordability, and sustainability – into mutually reinforcing goals. For instance, the US Inflation Reduction Act provides around $369 billion in incentives and support by 20301 to support these measures.

Companies are also increasing their focus on sustainable sourcing to meet demands from regulators, the finance community, and businesses. And consumers are voting with their wallets – they view sustainability as a key differentiator when purchasing products and services. Simon Kucher’s 2021 Global Sustainability Study showed 74% of respondents felt sustainability was a crucial purchasing factor in categories such as energy and utilities, construction and consumer goods.


of global consumers feel that environmental sustainability is important, they like the idea of being sustainable, and want to live more sustainable lives


of global consumers have made modest to significant changes to their consumption behaviors over time to live more sustainably


of consumers rank sustainability as a top 5 value driver on average across categories, which means it is an important purchase criteria and is a key differentiator in the overall value proposition

What is the role of aluminium producers?

We’re continuously engaging with customers to understand their needs and adapting our product offering in response – from partnering to develop carbon-free aluminium smelting to incorporating recycled content into our product offering.

Elysis aluminium
ELYSIS ingot

Low-carbon and zero-carbon smelting options

We’re already supplying low-carbon aluminium products. RenewAL is the aluminium industry’s first certified low-carbon aluminium. And ELYSIS, our joint venture with Alcoa, is developing breakthrough aluminium smelting technology that produces no direct greenhouse gases. This will change the way we make aluminium for the world – and companies like Apple are already using it in their products, helping meet their customers’ expectations for sustainable production.

Certifying our materials

We’ve received key industry sustainability accreditations such as The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, Copper Mark and Moly Mark. And initiatives like START, our blockchain traceability platform, ensure our supply chain is transparent too, giving our customers and their consumers access to a holistic set of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics for our aluminium products (More on this below).

Partnering to meet customer and market needs

We partnered with the BMW Group to provide responsibly sourced aluminium to the BMW Group’s vehicle production plant in Spartanburg, US. And in Japan and Asia, we’ve joined forces with Marubeni Corporation to deliver a simple, integrated way to achieve ESG-related goals and requirements for aluminium.

In 2022, we partnered with Ford to develop more sustainable and secure supply chains for battery and low-carbon materials for their vehicles, including lithium, low-carbon aluminium, and copper. And with Volvo Group, our partnership covers multi-commodity supply for their green transition. As a customer of their trucks, we also collaborate on developing small, autonomous electric vehicle technology for our operations.

Can with QR code
We created START to help meet growing demand for transparency and traceability of products

Tracing aluminium from START to finish

We have a responsibility to transparently trace our materials through every stage of production, so our customers – and theirs – can have more visibility.

START, our responsible materials label, is a pioneer in supply chain traceability. Built on blockchain technology, it allows us to give our customers and their end users real-time data about where their materials have come from, at every stage of the supply chain. This gives our partners the information they need to make more sustainable choices.

A real-life example of this traceability is a partnership with AB Inbev in 2022, with whom we launched a specially marked, low-carbon Corona Canada beverage can – made from our aluminium and leveraging ELYSISTM technology. As part of this limited release, 1.2 million cans were produced with a QR code to inspire consumers to learn more about the cans’ low carbon footprint.

Tellurium, Kennecott Operations

Producing critical materials from waste

Technology is a key part of our strategy to produce responsibly made materials. In some cases, this has also allowed us to produce critical materials from existing waste, extracting maximum value from every part of what we mine.


At our iron and titanium operation in Canada, we became the first producer of scandium oxide in North America by extracting high-purity scandium oxide from waste streams without the need for any additional mining. Scandium is an essential material in aluminium-scandium alloys, used to create lightweight and durable parts for cars, planes, and renewable energy infrastructure.

At Kennecott in the US, we’re also turning slime into solar panels – we’re producing tellurium, a critical mineral used in solar panels, from waste generated during refining.

We’ve advanced a copper-heap leaching technology called Nuton, which could allow us to mine existing low-grade copper sulphide and waste and recover higher oxide and transitional material. It’s also water efficient and produces low emissions.

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