SPONSORED | Lower carbon aluminium now available to Australian manufacturers

Aluminium distributor Capral has introduced LocAl, a lower-carbon primary aluminium option available across the company’s locally manufactured extruded aluminium products. Through this offering, Australian manufacturers can now enjoy access to cleaner, greener, more sustainable aluminium for their projects.

The LocAl offer includes two lower carbon aluminium options: LocAl® Green with carbon emissions of 8kg CO2e/kg Al and LocAl Super Green at 4.0kg CO2e/kg Al. These make them amongst the lowest carbon aluminium available globally.

In 2022 Capral committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, a significant step change, driving rapid innovation and cultural evolution throughout the business, most notably within procurement and operations. The introduction of LocAl demonstrates a deliberate shift in Capral’s procurement strategy for primary aluminium billet.

“In 2022, 22 per cent of the primary aluminium billet Capral uses in its eight local extrusion presses has a carbon content lower than eight kilograms CO2e per kilogram of aluminium,” commented Luke Hawkins, General Manager of Supply and Industrial Solutions at Capral. “Approximately 300 tonnes have a certified carbon content lower than four kilograms of CO2e per kilogram of aluminium. This is a strategic change for Capral, driven by our desire to make lower carbon aluminium accessible to Australian manufacturers. The market is looking for this product, and as Australia’s largest extruder of aluminium, we must make it available.”

Aluminium is often touted as the “sustainable metal”, its versatility and recyclability earning it this reputation. However, there are significant variations in the carbon emissions generated by smelters during the production of primary aluminium, leading to the observation that some aluminium is considerably more sustainable than others.

The main contribution to the carbon emissions of aluminium comes from the electrolysis process used in aluminium smelting. Around 60 per cent of the aluminium sector’s GHG emissions are from the production of electricity consumed during the aluminium smelting process.

A fact that may surprise some is that combined, the four aluminium smelters producing primary aluminium within Australia consume approximately 10 per cent of the national energy grid.

The carbon emissions in primary aluminium production range from under four kg CO2e/kg Al to over 20 kg CO2e/kg Al, largely dependent upon the energy sources used. The current global average carbon emission for primary aluminium is approximately 16.8 kg CO2e/kg Al.

“At eight kilograms of carbon emissions per kilogram of aluminium,” commented Michael O’Keefe, General Manager of Marketing & Technology, “the LocAl Green offer has 50 per cent lower carbon emissions than the current global average for primary aluminium. At four kilograms, LocAl Super Green is 75 per cent lower; this is a significant reduction. It gives Australian manufacturers an important opportunity to make more responsible procurement decisions when they source extruded aluminium.”

In addition to lower carbon emissions, the primary aluminium offered under the Local brand is sourced exclusively from Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certified smelters.

ASI is a global non-profit organisation that brings together producers, users and stakeholders in the aluminium value chain. ASI members are committed to the responsible procurement and sustainable production of aluminium. This globally recognised organisation has become the cornerstone of sustainable aluminium procurement for the world’s leading aluminium organisations delivering robust standards and transparency. Capral joined ASI in July 2022.

“Being able to offer LocAl aluminium sourced from ASI-certified smelters gives us the added assurance that the aluminium we buy has been produced responsibly with consideration given to sustainability and societal impact,” said Hawkins. “It helps us stand behind the product we sell and tell our customers we’ve done the best we can to deliver a product that has been produced responsibly at all stages in the value chain.”

Industry sectors, including construction, renewable energy, transport and marine, are increasingly looking for lower carbon options for their products to meet customer expectations. Capral is now ready to support these sectors with access to aluminium with up to 75 per cent lower carbon emissions than global averages.

“There are many reasons businesses would consider using LocAl for their projects,” added O’Keefe. “Reducing carbon emissions is critical for our environment, and Capral is proud to be in a position to deliver the LocAl Green and Super Green to the industry right now so that businesses can actively choose cleaner, greener options for their aluminium.”

LocAl aluminium is available across Capral’s locally manufactured. extruded aluminium products including custom-designed aluminium sections, standard extrusions, geometrics, transport sections, solar rail, and marine. LocAl Green will be supplied as standard on all Capral proprietary window and door systems from November 2022.

“It’s ready,” added O’Keefe. “All our customers need to do is ask.”

Capral is ambitious about offering LocAl to Australian manufacturers and hopeful that the demand for lower-carbon aluminium will continue to grow.

“We hope that in 2023 more and more of the aluminium we source will be LocAl to meet our customer’s demands,” says Hawkins.

For more information about LocAl, visit lowcarbonaluminium.com.au.


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