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Aluminum industry emphasizes recyclability for European Green Week
January 30, 2014
2 Min Read
In the middle of the European Green Week 2009 (23-26 June), the European-based aluminum industry is pointing a spotlight at its historical commitment to adding its immeasurable value to a greener, more sustainable society. While sustainable consumption and production have only recently arrived to the top of the EU's political agenda, Europe's main aluminum producers and users can look back at 10 years of cutting edge experience and production to showcase their results in light-weighting, life-cycle thinking, reduced CO2 emissions.
"As an incredibly light, remarkably strong and easily recyclable resource, aluminum stands alone as a superior metal to be integrated into greener, sustainable solutions," said Rudi Huber, chairman of the European Aluminum Association (EAA). "The aluminum industry recognized many years ago the value and need to bring the concept of sustainability into everything we do - from finding ways to produce our metal more efficiently, to making sure we help design lightweight products that contribute to lower energy use and CO2 emissions throughout their life cycle. In today's greener world, it is vital that we use aluminum's unique characteristics to the maximum. No wonder that 75% of the 600 million tons of aluminum ever produced are still in productive use!"
Life Cycle Thinking
Having participated right from the start in laying the foundations of the science of Life Cycle Assessment [LCA], the aluminum industry has been working closely together with academia, customers and authorities. "Today we not only know perfectly what resources it takes to produce aluminum, but our knowledge goes far beyond that," said Patrick de Schrynmakers, Secretary General of the European Aluminum Association (EAA). "Through structural research & development programs our members help manufacturers of many sorts of consumer products reduce their eco-footprint. Through sustainable design and light-weighting, we are committed to making sure that our products can be easily recycled at the end of their use - a major contribution to a greener world."
Center of Excellence
Through its focus on LCA development, the European Aluminum Association has become a true 'center of excellence' for life cycle thinking. "After 10 years of dedication, investment and research, we have come up with state of the art validated methodologies, rigorously collected and thoroughly assessed data to show what resources are saved by using lightweight, corrosion resistant and strong aluminum in products such as cars, trucks, aircraft, food packaging, windows, facades, solar panels and other renewable energy equipment. We have the systems in place to evaluate the benefits of recycling the scrap from end-of-life products - especially in terms of emissions. This enables us to prove that the environmental balance of producing, using and recycling aluminum over and over again evens out, ensuring that our material and the products made of it contribute to a sustainable economy and society."
Source: European Aluminum Association (EAA)
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