Efficient use of our Earth’s resources
A sustainable approach to resources means using them more efficiently and also conserving non-renewable resources for future generations. The conservation of resources in the aluminium industry starts with closed internal production loops, in other words in those locations where process scrap as well as operating and auxiliary materials are recycled, and extends through to the processing of aluminium-containing residues.
Continuous reduction in the energy required
The aluminium industry has successfully reduced energy consumption in its production processes. Primary aluminium production in particular is a good example of how the aluminium industry harmonises its economic and ecological objectives. In 1950, 21 kilowatt-hours of electricity were needed to produce a kilogram of aluminium but today the average figure in more modern plants is only 13 kilowatt-hours thanks to improved process engineering. The industry utilises every opportunity to reduce energy consumption still further.
A modern industry cannot afford to stand still in the other stages of production either. That is why the energy consumption to produce aluminium semi-finished products or foil is also continually being evaluated. Here, continuous improvement means a continuous reduction in the energy required.
Reduction of emissions and waste
For environmentally friendly development it is also necessary to reduce any pollutant discharges from production processes that can endanger human health and the ability of the natural environment to adapt. In this respect, the optimisation of production processes and the installation of pollution control equipment in Germany comply with the highest standards worldwide. The aluminium industry’s plant-specific environmental protection is exemplary.
Measures to reduce pollution
These measures help improve the efficiency of the aluminium industry, reduce the demands made on the environment and contribute to sustainable development.