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 several key studies on the aluminum industry’s environmental impact:
Aluminum Beverage Can Life Cycle Assessment Report (2014 & 2010)
In 2010, the Aluminum Association released a peer-reviewed, cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment report examining the environmental impact of aluminum can production in the United States and Canada. The report was updated in 2014 using new data which showed an addititional 20 percent reduction in carbon footprint and 70 percent recycled content of the average can -- far exceeding alternative beverage containers.
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 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.