Alcoa Innovation supports growing Québec expertise in aluminum
We believe world markets will increasingly demand authentically green products as defined by cradle to cradle design philosophy.
Alcoa Innovation is a partnership created in Québec in 2008, along with the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) and the Centre québécois de recherche et de développement de l’aluminium (CQRDA), to help develop the aluminum industry and market in a sustainable and foundational way. Alcoa Innovation’s mission is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the Québec aluminum industry by promoting the development of innovative products focused on the transformation of aluminum; stimulating the use of aluminum that promotes sustainable development; and promoting the implementation of technology thru projects.
Life cycle assessment
Life cycle assessment allows us to evaluate how a product can be optimized at every step of its life, from design to manufacturing, use, recovery and recycling. It is, therefore, a powerful tool for assessing how we can improve and better design products. In 2010, Alcoa established an internal Life Cycle Assessment Center of Excellence to analyze its products and processes .
The Alcoa Foundation has granted US$350,000 to École Polytechnique de Montréal to support its development of the ImpactWorld+ project, a new global model for life cycle impact assessment. This donation fell under the Advancing Sustainability Research: Innovative Partnerships for Actionable Solutions program, a US$4 million Alcoa Foundation initiative to fund 10 projects in sustainability research in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, Russia and the United States.
Evaluating life cycle impact is an important part of life cycle assessment. Among other things, this evaluation enables us to characterize the environmental performance of a given product or service, and to identify the environmental issues that need to be addressed. Existing characterization methods do not meet the specific needs of many industries, due among other things, to the use of models that are only valid for facilities located in specific areas of the world, such as Europe or Canada. This research aims to develop a life cycle impact assessment method that extends beyond existing regional models to provide a standard evaluation of the environmental issues facing supply chains and consumer models in a global economy.