In 2002, Alcoa signed an agreement with Québec’s Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The five-year agreement covered the 2002-2007 period, and Alcoa met all of its targets. In 2008, we signed a new voluntary reduction agreement for the 2008-2012 period.
The greenhouse gas inventory is completed based on the protocol established with the MDDEP, and is audited annually by a third party. This agreement covers all direct emissions except those associated with the types of fuel excluded by the MDDEP. In 2011, indirect GHG emissions associated with the production of electricity for our operations were just over 200,000 t/CO2eq., or approximately 9% of our total emissions (direct + indirect).
In 2011, we recorded similar direct GHG emissions as in 2010, an increase in PFC emissions in the prebake plants having been offset by an improved performance at the Söderberg plant in Baie-Comeau. Since 2001, the base year for the first reduction agreement, emissions have decreased by 35%, a portion of which is attributable to the shut-down of one of the Söderberg potrooms in Baie-Comeau in November 2008.
After samples were taken to confirm the coefficients used to calculate emissions, we re-evaluated our emissions inventories for 2009 and 2010. The impact was minimal for 2009 but 2010 emissions were found to be 7% below initial assessments. These new inventories were validated by an independent auditor. The new coefficients were also applied in 2011.