As the United Nations adopted an ambitious slate of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030, the Aluminum Association played its own small role in this historic effort. Concurrent with the adoption of the SDG was the release of a report showcasing the contributions of business trade associations to advancing the cause of environmental stewardship and sustainability globally.
The report – titled “Scaling Up Sustainability Collaboration” – was a joint effort of the United Nations Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce and features case studies from about 30 international and domestic industry trade associations in the materials, energy, transportation, financial and other sectors. The case studies emphasize how companies can best collaborate through industry groups to advance collective sustainability goals.
Other groups included in the report included the International Council on Mining & Metals, International Railway Association and the Consumer Goods Forum. As noted in the report’s Foreword: “With their extensive networks and sector-specific expertise, industry associations are able to serve as key platforms for sharing knowledge and know-how on integrating sustainable development measures into corporate management. By fostering partnerships, building capacity, setting technical standards, and diffusing best practices, they enable corporate action on sustainable development to be scaled up.”
The Aluminum Association’s contribution to the report highlighted how life cycle thinking, cleaner production, recycling and product stewardship have all contributed to sustainability advancements in the aluminum industry. Per the entry: “The Association promotes a comprehensive evaluation of aluminum from the entire life cycle perspective … the goal is to minimize ‘costs’ and maximize ‘benefits.’”