Climate Protection


A critical sustainability goal for Alcoa is reducing the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) our facilities emit. Our global target is to reduce 2005 levels of total carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) intensity in our Global Primary Products business group (mining, refining, and smelting) by 30% by 2020 and 35% by 2030.


In Europe, our direct GHG emissions declined 4.4% in 2013 and 6.0% from the 2005 baseline. Our efforts to reduce these emissions during the year included energy-efficiency improvements at our locations, the use of lower-carbon-intensive fuels, and reduced perfluorocarbons (PFCs) emissions at our smelters.


Our smelters in Spain exceeded by 400% the target set in a voluntary PFC-reduction agreement with government authorities, delivering a combined reduction of 400,000 metric tons of CO2e from 2008 to 2012 compared to the 2005 baseline. The agreement called for a reduction of 100,000 metric tons.


Avilés Smelter

Avilés Smelter

Our Söderberg smelter in Avilés, Spain continued delivering benchmark PFC emissions for this type of smelter based on reports from the International Aluminium Institute and was recognized for the world’s best Söderberg performance in 2013.


At our San Ciprián Refinery in Spain, we continued switching the site’s energy source from fuel oil to natural gas. In early 2013, the gas system operator received approval for the construction of a natural gas pipeline to the San Ciprián region. Once completed in early 2015, the 42-mile (67-kilometer) pipeline will enable our refinery to further shift its energy mix and reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 250,000 metric tons per years, or 25%, while running at full capacity. As a temporary measure until full conversion, the site increased its use of liquefied natural gas beginning in 2011.


Our refinery, smelters, and rolling mills with casthouses were included in the European Union Emissions Trading System for the first time in 2013. In total, this affects 11 facilities in Iceland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity
Metric tons of CO2e per ton of primary production
Direct Greenhouse
Gas Emissions

Metric tons of CO2e

Indirect Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Metric tons of CO2e

2009 5.7       3,481,194 2,902,871
2010 5.0       3,436,457 2,207,299
2011 5.4       3,466,807 2,812,876
2012 5.2       3,176,820 2,524,170
2013 4.4       3,036,417 1,623,109