New website praises 'sustainable aluminium'

The International Aluminium Institute has launched a website that sings, scientifically, about aluminium's sustainability. Hydro headed the website project.

June 30, 2009

"Our target with the website is to change mindset concerning aluminium and sustainability," says Joe Luthiger, who works with Hydro's aluminium building systems sector. "We will use the 'yes, we do with aluminium' slogan and present the factual arguments that support aluminium use from an environmental perspective."

In the building segment alone, writes the International Aluminium Institute, the use of aluminium is "revolutionizing the way that architects are conceiving and realizing sustainable buildings, meeting the needs of present and future generations for economical, functional, beautiful spaces, while reducing carbon and energy footprints. Our website recognizes the demand from architects ... for up-to-date information on the unique properties of aluminium building applications, as well as their environmental impacts."

A few of the projects presented on the website feature aluminium building systems from Hydro's global system brands.

Considerable life-cycle credentials

Hydro's Gaultier Massip, who works as sustainable construction and life-cycle analysis researcher, has contributed text, illustrations and video material on Hydro's behalf. He says the website addresses "the ongoing scientific debate about the correct reflection of aluminium in LCAs, and recycled content versus end-of-life scrap aluminium crediting.

"We aren't focusing on one specific target group, like architects, but presenting real facts and explanations for anyone who wants to understand more about our material and why it makes sense to use aluminium from the environmental point of view," he says. "There are many different studies offering factual arguments. Now we have them on the same website."

The arguments presented on the English-language website include:

  • Recycling rate. Between 92-to-98 percent of architectural aluminium in Europe is collected and recycled after use
  • Cradle-to-cradle life cycle. Approximately 75 percent of all aluminium ever produced is still in productive use
  • Urban mining. Globally, it is estimated that buildings contain some 200 million tons of aluminium, which can be extracted and reused by future generations time after time
  • Reduced energy consumption. A 10 percent reduction in smelter electrical energy usage by IAI member and reporting companies per ton of aluminium produced by 2010 versus 1990

IAI members are responsible for up to 80 percent of global primary aluminium production and around 20 percent of recycled metal production. 


Updated: October 11, 2016