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World Economic Forum: Hydro joins “green” supplier database to propel aluminum material transition

#World Economic Forum: Hydro joins “green” supplier database to propel aluminum material transition

Man holding steel.
(All image credits: Hydro).

24 Jan 2024 — The materials sector has a “huge” responsibility and an important role to play toward a net-zero society, says Ina Strander John, head of global positioning at Hydro, after attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 15–19.

Hydro is now featured as a supplier in the First Movers Coalition’s (FMC) First Suppliers Hub, launched in Davos. The hub is a global database of suppliers and their projects of innovative and emerging technologies aimed to simplify the process for organizations as they move from climate commitments to action.

“Strategic partnerships and now the First Suppliers Hub give us the possibility to work closely with customers to find solutions to challenges for example when it comes to using more recycled content. Having leading customers as partners also gives us assurance when we make investments in technology to reduce our emissions,” Strander John tells Packaging Insights.

At the WEF Annual Meeting, Hydro engaged in discussions with decision-makers from the public and private sectors, focusing on how to reduce the emissions of materials to enable society’s decarbonization. Furthermore, the importance of increasing transparency in material footprint to accelerate the green transition was discussed, along with how business can have a positive impact on local communities, nature and the climate.

Car and aluminum bottle.To accelerate the green transition, Strander John says that current material production operations must change.Aluminum “critical” for green transition
Through its fully integrated value chain, Strander John says Hydro is in a “unique” position to “pioneer the green aluminum transition” through decarbonizing its value chain and using its procurement power responsibly to drive the global industry in the right direction.

“Signaling our determination to take responsibility and lead the way for the world to reach the climate targets, Hydro has joined the FMC for aluminum.”

“The challenge of climate change transcends borders and industries, and we can only maintain the critical climate pathway of 1.5 degrees Celsius if we work together to create new markets for a sustainable future,” she asserts.

Low-carbon aluminum
As aluminum is becoming an increasingly critical material for the green transition, the need for carbon-neutral solutions is growing even faster, asserts Strander John. “If we are to make aluminum production emission-free across the entire value chain, we need to change the game for how we make aluminum, signaling demand for more innovative technologies to make zero possible.”

Hydro Reduxa is Hydro’s brand of low-carbon aluminum. “Using renewable energy from water, wind and solar, we can produce cleaner aluminum, reducing the carbon footprint per kg of aluminum to 4.0, which is less than a quarter of the global average,” explains Strander John.

Hydro has qualified for the First Supplier Hub as a supplier of lowest-carbon primary aluminum product, Hydro Reduxa 3.0. Hydro produces primary aluminum with a carbon footprint of less than one-fourth of the global industry average of 16.7 kg CO2 emissions per kg aluminum. By 2030, the footprint will be further reduced by 25%.

Empowering consumer consciousness
To accelerate the green transition, Strander John says that current material production operations must change.

“Demand for materials like aluminum, steel and cement is growing to build the infrastructure needed for the green transition. But it matters where and how materials are produced, and all production comes with a footprint.”Metal packaging bottom with Hydro logo.Hydro Reduxa is Hydro’s brand of low-carbon aluminum.

“These materials represent roughly one fourth of the world’s carbon footprint, and most of it is still produced using fossil fuels. To get to zero, we need to intensify the green transition of the materials sector. Electric vehicles, modern energy-efficient buildings and recyclable packaging only do half the job unless the materials they are made from are decarbonized. And we need to empower consumers to make climate-conscious choices,” she stresses.

Hydro aims to reduce emissions in its value chain and in every other sector relying on aluminum as a building block — such as packaging. This requires technological progress, innovation and collaboration, asserts the company.

Green beyond carbon
The company believes that “green goes beyond carbon.” Hydro can influence each step of the value chain — from mine to meta, it says. “Changing the game for aluminum is not only through what we produce but also through how we produce it. Producing materials comes with challenges, impacting nature, climate and social conditions,” says Strander John.

She is also calling for increased transparency. “Stronger traceability and transparency about material footprint is crucial to accelerate change. Transparency cannot be a choice when we know how it can drive better solutions and accelerate progress. Accessible information about a product’s footprint is a precondition for consumers to make informed choices.”

“If customers don’t see the difference between a carbon-intensive and zero-carbon product, how should they be able to make the right choices and why should they be willing to pay for the more expensive alternative?”

“To accelerate change and have incentives to minimize adverse impacts from production, reporting on production emissions should be mandatory for all. Transparency around recycled content and how to measure the carbon footprint is necessary to avoid greenwashing and drive a real circular, low-carbon economy,” concludes Strander John.

By Natalie Schwertheim

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