The German aluminium industry is one of the most active sectors when it comes to sustainability and its implementation. It emphasises the important points not only at corporate level but also via the work of its trade association. This is also supported by aluminium’s properties, which provide the basis for implementing a sustainable, closed-loop oriented and resource-conserving approach to production and use. Photo credit: Zozzzzo/ fotolia
More than just protecting the environment
Lightweight aluminium can point to an excellent performance record when it comes to sustainability, prevention of climate change and other ecological ‘footprints’. The resource efficiency of products only becomes really apparent when one takes their complete life cycle into consideration – from the extraction of the metal via its processing into semi-finished and finished products through to its utilisation and recycling.
In contrast to other materials, aluminium scrap can be melted down and repeatedly turned into new high-grade products without any loss in quality. There is no difference in quality to that of primary aluminium produced from bauxite ore. This conserves primary raw materials to meet the needs of future generations. It is therefore not surprising that three-quarters of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today.
At product level, aluminium makes a crucial contribution to climate change prevention. In cars and commercial vehicles, the use of lightweight aluminium components contributes sustainably to reducing traffic-related carbon footprints.
Aspects like comfort, safety and design must also be considered here. This is because sustainability means not only environmental protection but also resource efficiency, economic efficiency and socially relevant aspects.