Environmental Product Declarations for Aluminum Product Types Released | The Aluminum Association

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Environmental Product Declarations for Aluminum Product Types Released

November 18, 2014

Environmental “Nutrition Labels” for the Metal Now Available at www.aluminum.org/EPD

ARLINGTON, VA. — The Aluminum Association released today environmental product declarations (EPD) for various types of aluminum products. An EPD is a comprehensive, internationally harmonized report that describes the potential environmental impact of a particular product through its life cycle. EPDs are now being used to help earn LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)® credit points for green building certification under LEED® V4.

The Aluminum Association partnered with PE International to develop EPDs for five representative aluminum products through one of the largest industry life cycle assessment (LCA) studies ever completed. A total of 25 aluminum companies participated in the effort and supplied data for almost all of their operational facilities. The EPDs were certified by UL Environment, a widely-respected program operator and the leading firm in verifying EPDs in North America.

The industry has developed EPDs on:

  • Hot-Rolled Aluminum: Aluminum sheet and plate rolled at a pre-heated temperature and often used for building, transportation and other applications.
  • Cold-Rolled Aluminum: Aluminum sheet and plate rolled through a secondary “cold rolling” process to make the metal thinner and stronger. Often used to make building roofs and sidings, sheet for automotive and other transportation applications and packaging materials. 
  • Extruded Aluminum: Aluminum that is fed through a hydraulic press to make a particular shape. Often used to make doors, windows, curtain walls and structural components for buildings, automotive and other transportation components and various consumer durable products.
  • Primary Ingot: Raw material produced directly from bauxite and used to make casted, rolled or extruded aluminum.
  • Secondary Ingot: Raw material produced from recycled aluminum and used to make casted, rolled or extruded aluminum.

“This is just one more example of our industry advancing its commitment to sustainability,” said Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “Infinitely recyclable aluminum is one of the greenest materials in use today and these EPDs will strengthen our customers ability to make informed choices about using this innovative metal.” 

The EPDs provide detailed information on major aspects of a product’s potential environmental impact such as global warming, acidification and eutrophication. The declarations will educate end users of aluminum – from builders to transportation firms to consumer products companies – on the metal’s impact.

The EPD reports are based on industrywide survey data and represent an average production inputs across all aluminum-making in the United States and Canada. The report was developed in accordance with ISO 14025 reporting standards. 

Lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable, aluminum products can lower energy costs and carbon emissions in dozens of applications. Aluminum roofs can reflect up to 95 percent of sunlight, helping improve building energy efficiency. Highly recycled and lightweight aluminum packaging reduces shipping costs and carbon emissions for beverage makers. And high-strength aluminum can lower the weight of cars, trucks, planes and other vehicles, reducing fuel consumption.

In addition, recent technological advances and voluntary environmental efforts mean that aluminum made in North America is more sustainable today than ever before. The energy required to produce new aluminum is down more than a quarter since 1995 while the metal’s carbon footprint is down nearly 40 percent. As Americans rely more and more on recycled aluminum to meet demand, the metal is increasingly the sustainable material of choice.

To download the new aluminum EPDs, please visit www.aluminum.org/EPD.

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The Aluminum Association represents U.S. and foreign-based companies and their suppliers throughout the value chain, from primary production to value added products to recycling.  The Association is the industry’s leading voice, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics.  In the U.S., the aluminum industry creates $152 billion in economic activity. For more information visit www.Aluminum.org, on Twitter @AluminumNews or at Facebook.com/AluminumAssociation



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