Climate Protection

We have a strong history of leadership in reducing greenhouse gases in the aluminum industry.

Carbon dioxide represents most of our GHG emissions, with our smelters and refineries being the largest emitters. In 2019, our long-term goal was to reduce the intensity of our GHG footprint (direct and indirect emissions) from our smelting operations by 15 percent by 2025 and 20 percent by 2030 from a 2015 baseline. We achieved a 1.3 percent reduction from the baseline through 2019.

Our new goal, which will be implemented in 2020, is to align our GHG (direct + indirect) emission intensity reduction target with the below 2º C decarbonization path by reducing GHG emission intensity by 30 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030 from a 2015 baseline.

Our total 2019 carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions equaled 24.3 million metric tons, of which 17.7 million metric tons were direct emissions. This represents a 0.4 percent increase in total emissions and a 5.5 percent increase in intensity compared to 2018. The increase was primarily driven by continued instabilities at our Warrick and Intalco smelters, the restart of our Becancour smelter in Canada, and instabilities at our Portland smelter in Australia that were related to power outages.

To ensure our salaried managers and leaders remain engaged in reducing our GHG emissions, we connected 5 percent of our 2019 annual incentive compensation to carbon dioxide emission reductions through process upgrades and improved energy efficiency. Due to the various plant issues, we achieved zero percent.

In 2019, we conducted the first analysis of our operations following the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. With the help of an external consultant, we assessed our climate-related transition and physical risks and opportunities to identify paths to improve our processes for addressing such risks and leveraging the opportunities.

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Emissions

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Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Emissions

(Million metric tons)
(Million metric tons)
Total CO2e Emissions
(Million metric tons)
Emissions Intensity
(Million metric tons of CO2e per metric ton of production)
2015 22.4 8.2 30.6 7.09
2016 17.1 7.3 24.4 6.08
2017 16.2 5.8 22.0 5.21
2018 17.5 6.7 24.2 6.60
2019 17.7 6.6 24.3 6.96

Case Studies

    Building Climate Resiliency in the Amazon

    In Juruti, Brazil, an innovative agroforestry program supported by Alcoa Foundation is building resilience to climate change while providing additional income sources to the region’s citizens, especially women.

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    Greener Transportation

    Despite the significant challenges in using intermodal transportation in Europe, our locations in the region increased their use of this energy-efficient method sixfold in 2019. The effort eliminated 1,500 metric tons of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

    Read more >