Low Carbon Aluminium for a Sustainable Future

RUSAL launched ALLOW, a new product with a certified low carbon footprint.

di Alberto Pomari

As demand amongst consumers grows for more sustainable and environmentally friendly aluminium, RUSAL has seized on the opportunity to utilize its unique access to clean, renewable hydropower to provide a product with a much reduced carbon footprint. ALLOW branded products contain less than 4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of aluminium, compared to an industry average of around 13.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of aluminium.
What’s more, in a world focused on limiting the adverse impacts of climate change, RUSAL’s ALLOW is independently verified by the Switzerland based firm Quantis as well as by the British Standard Institution (BSI), and is traceable to the specific smelter used. As RUSAL is present in all major markets, ALLOW products are available worldwide.
The launch of RUSAL’s new low carbon aluminium brand represents a watershed moment for the company in terms of sales strategy development and work with its customers. RUSAL’s ALLOW aluminium empowers customers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products and contribute to their climate change strategy.

Setting new standards
RUSAL’s commitment to fighting climate change and desire to be a part of the solution is the major motivation for launching the ALLOW brand. The global average surface temperature has increased over the 20th century between 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius. Global environmental challenges have become evident not just to scientists but to ordinary people. Our planet is already suffering from the negative impacts of global warming. Climate challenges endanger the well-being and security of millions across the world. Most countries have adopted the 2015 Paris climate accord and are now are trying put in place a set of specific measures that should pave the way for a low-carbon future. It is time for businesses to prepare for a carbon constrained world.
RUSAL vehemently supports global action to prevent climate change and stop global warming. The company is are firmly convinced that, as an industry leader, it is responsible for shifting commodity paradigms and supporting its customers’ and partners’ transition to a low carbon future. RUSAL has a unique position in the industry that allows this company to lead an environmental campaign. With its core smelting capacities located in Siberia, RUSAL benefits from access to clean renewable hydro power.
Aluminium has staked out a spot in the metals market as the environmentally-responsible choice, boasting attributes including its light weight and 100% recyclability. However, the metal’s cycle starts with high energy-demanding primary aluminium production. Current technology requires no less than 12,000 kWh of electricity for every metric tonne of primary aluminium. Existing aluminium smelters consume about 4% of the global electrical power output each year. Around 75% of all GHG emissions in the global aluminium industry come from coal and gas fired power plants that power smelters.
Unlike most aluminium producers, RUSAL sources over 90% of its electricity needs from hydropower plants. Consequently, RUSAL’s smelters have a significantly lower carbon footprint than the industry’s average. Aluminium made with ALLOW is guaranteed to have a CO2 footprint that’s lower than 4 tonnes CO2 per tonne of aluminium – four to five times lower than the emissions generated by a coal power process and less than half that of aluminium produced with gas sources.
As industry leaders, RUSAl feels a responsibility to set the standards for a low carbon industry, and pass the benefits down to everyone along the value chain. The company believes that low carbon measures must be simple and visible to be effective. Confidence in that sourcing comes with a guarantee too. RUSAL’s ALLOW product is certified by independent institutions to confirm its sustainable production and is traceable to the precise smelter where it was created.
With its new brand, RUSAL offers new sales contracts, with independently verified certificates of carbon footprint from the smelter of origin to perform life-cycle assessments of products.
RUSAL’s low carbon aluminium brand is part of a drive towards an ever-improving environmental footprint. By 2025 RUSAL plans to emit 15% less greenhouse gases at its aluminium smelting operations and 10% less greenhouse gases at its alumina refining operations compared to 2014 levels. In addition, RUSAL plans to reduce power consumption at its aluminium smelters by 7% below 2011 levels, and reduce energy-related CO2 emissions to 2.7 metric tonnes or less per tonne of aluminium.

United for low carbon
Due to changing attitudes towards environment issues, consumers around the globe are increasingly taking active interest in the CO2 footprint and sustainability profile of the products they purchase. With the ALLOW brand, RUSAL want to convey a simple message: RUSAL ALLOW aluminium is made with hydropower and provides carbon footprint transparency in the value chain. It empowers RUSAL’s customers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products.
Packaging, automotive, consumer electronics and construction are the four sectors that RUSAL believes will drive low-carbon aluminium demand. Packaging, because it’s related to everyday life and it’s important for customers to see what they’re buying. Automotive, because consumers are fighting to lower their CO2 emissions, and what’s the point of producers making a green car from dirty aluminium? In 2017, 100,000 tonnes of RUSAL’s low carbon aluminium has been sold to customers. The Company plans to sell at least 1 million tonnes of aluminium a year under the ALLOW brand.
Overall, according to RUSAL’s estimates, the market for low carbon metal could reach 5 to 6 million tonnes by 2020-2021.
The new brand and its logo emphasize the history and forward-looking strategy of RUSAL. The ALLOW logo embodies the corporate vision of reducing RUSAL’s environmental impact by combining two words, Aluminium and Low. They come together at a subtle downward angle, symbolizing the Company’s commitment to securing a low carbon footprint and reducing the environmental impact of our customer’s products. The brand slogan – ‘United for low carbon’ – is aimed at following this idea and expresses RUSAL’s aim of enabling its customers to contribute to their own climate conscious strategy.