The North American aluminum industry, through the work of the Aluminum Association, was an early pioneer in developing comprehensive, peer-reviewed research on the environmental impact of material production and use. The aluminum industry supports the life cycle assessment approach to research which tracks the impact of a product in all stages of its life -- from raw material extraction, to production and use, to disposal or recycling.
Following are a number of key studies on the aluminum industry’s environmental impact.
Semi-Fabricated Aluminum Products LCA (2013)
This peer-reviewed life-cycle assessment (LCA) study shows a major decline in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions for primary aluminum production in the U.S. and Canada.
Aluminum: The Element of Sustainability (2011)
This report takes a holistic look at the industry’s environmental footprint, from production to product use and recycling.
Aluminum Beverage Can Life Cycle Assessment Report (2010)
This report includes a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment examing a mixture of 1,000 aluminum beverage containers. It explores environemntal indicators like energy demand and carbon footprint and finds that aluminum cans have an average recycled content of 68 percent, far exceeding alternative beverage containers.
Aluminum Transportation Group Reports
The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) supports research in a number of areas highlighting the environmental benefits of substituting aluminum for other materials in the automotive sector.