The Aluminum Association and its members participating in the Voluntary Aluminum Industry Partnership (VAIP), representing 98% of primary aluminum production in the U.S., have agreed to a direct carbon intensity reduction target of 53% by 2010 from 1990 levels. The goal includes the reduction in emissions from perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and CO2 from the consumption of the carbon anode from primary aluminum. As a large industrial energy consumer, the primary producers also agree to continue their efforts to reduce indirect CO2 emissions through continued energy efficiency improvements. The industry has been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for over a decade and this new commitment equates to an additional direct carbon-intensity reduction of 25 percent since 2000. This commitment builds on the efforts of the VAIP, a partnership program that EPA has had with the industry since 1995. The VAIP reduced PFC emissions per tonne aluminum by over 45% in 2000 compared to the industry’s 1990 baseline. The Aluminum Association also pledges to support climate protection through efforts to increase aluminum recycling and the development of lightweight vehicles.
EPA 2001 Climate Protection Award
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded its Climate Change Protection Award to the aluminum industry’s VAIP in 2001. The VAIP was launched in 1995 to reduce emissions of PFCs emitted as a byproduct of the aluminum smelting process. VAIP charter members were Alcan Ingot, Alcoa Inc., Century Aluminum, Columbia Falls Aluminum Company, Goldendale Aluminum Company, Kaiser Aluminum, Noranda Aluminum, Northwest Aluminum, NSA Southwire, Vanalco Inc., the Aluminum Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The partnership led to major reductions in emissions, significantly advanced the scientific understanding of the PFC-generated anode effect, successfully characterized emissions from most U.S. smelter-types and helped develop emissions inventory methods. PFCs are the most potent and persistent of all greenhouse gases. The partnership, which accounts for 95% of the U.S. production capacity, exceeded its 2000 goal to reduce emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2000. The partnership’s reduction of emissions in 2000 alone was 2.1 MMTCE, which is equivalent to removing 1.7 million cars from U.S. highways.