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12 February 2024


Since 2018, ASI has been committed to driving the aluminium sector towards a 1.5 degree aligned future, achievement of which is only possible through a shift in primary aluminium smelter power, among other pathways, to zero emitting technologies over the next three decades.

On the back of ASI’s decision for 1.5 degree alignment, and in a move that turns ambition into (proof of) action, Version 3 of the ASI Performance Standard, published in 2022, calls for certifying ASI Entities (no matter where they sit on the aluminium value chain) to “establish a GHG Emissions Reduction Plan and ensure a GHG Emissions Reduction Pathway consistent with a 1.5 degree warming scenario, using an ASI-endorsed method, when available”.

The purpose of the method is to enable ASI Entities to articulate quantifiable aluminium-related GHG Emissions Reduction Pathways, specific to Entities/companies/assets under study, against which performance can be regularly measured and disclosed.

Ultimately, if each Entity-level Pathway is followed, the outcome should be that the sector’s carbon emissions budget (currently around 15 Gt CO2e) is not exceeded.  With the aluminium industry currently emitting over 1 Gt CO2e every year, this is a huge undertaking that requires action at speed and scale, even as demand for aluminium is increasing.

ASI has since been working on developing such a method and the result of this work was endorsed by the ASI Board in November 2023 and published in February 2024.  The method will be incorporated into an update of the Performance Standard Guidance in May 2024, with Entities obliged to use the method to define GHG Emissions Reduction Pathways in ASI Audits from this date.

An associated Microsoft Excel Workbook can be used to calculate and generate Entity-level GHG Pathway slopes.

An online learning module on 1.5-degree aligned GHG Emission Pathways is also now available on educationAL, ASI’s Learning Platform.  This course aims to equip ASI certifying Entities and ASI Auditors with the knowledge required to implement and provide assurance against ASI Performance Standard Criterion 5.3, specifically the articulation of GHG Emissions Reduction Pathways, using the ASI-endorsed method.

Performance Standard v3.1 Criterion 5.3 – GHG Emissions Reduction Plans

The Entity shall:

  1. Establish a GHG Emissions Reduction Plan and ensure a GHG Emissions Reduction Pathway consistent with a 1.5°C warming scenario, using an ASI endorsed methodology when available.
  2. Ensure that the GHG Emissions Reduction Pathway includes an Intermediate Target covering a period no greater than five years, which:
    1. Addresses all Direct and Indirect GHG emissions.
    2. Is developed using a Science-Based Approach endorsed by ASI, if available.
    3. Is publicly disclosed.
  3. Review the GHG Emissions Reduction Plan annually.
  4. Review the GHG Emissions Pathway on any changes to the Business that alter baselines or targets.
  5. Publicly disclose:
    1. The latest version of the GHG Emissions Reduction Pathway.
    2. The latest version of the GHG Emissions Reduction Plan.
    3. Progress against the GHG Emissions Reduction Plan on an annual basis.

ASI-endorsed Method Timeline 

✅  May 2022 – ASI Publishes Version 3 of the ASI Performance Standard with a requirement for 1.5ºC-aligned GHG Emission Reduction Pathways from all Certifying Entities

✅  2021-2023 – ASI explores opportunities to leverage existing or developing methods (e.g. SBTi, Center for Climate Aligned Finance) but none is able to meet its specific requirements

✅  January 2023 – ASI Climate Change Working Group and Standards Committee begin work in earnest to deliver an ASI-developed method

✅  September 2023 – ASI Standards Committee agrees to recommend the method to ASI Board

✅  November 2023 – ASI Board endorses the recommended method

✅  February 2024 – Publication of the method and associated calculation tool, development of training materials, to allow Entities and Auditors to prepare for implementation/audits

Upcoming:

May 2024 – Incorporation of method into Performance Standard Guidance (all ASI Performance Standard Audits from this point must seek evidence that the method has been used by the Certifying Entity)

2024 – Further research and development by the ASI Secretariat regarding bauxite and alumina specific methods and the impact of land use change emissions.

Key messages on the Method

  • Simplified for ease of use by all ASI Entities and ASI Auditors.
  • Derived from existing 1.5oC scenarios for the aluminium sector, in turn broadly aligned with the IEA Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario and based on GHG Protocol emissions accounting.
  • Covers majority (>95%) of Aluminium sector emissions sources as currently defined, but likely to evolve as future emissions sources are more accurately quantified (e.g. land-use related emissions).
  • Does not prioritise or limit the use of Entity-defined allocation approaches for input materials (including Pre-consumer Scrap).
  • References third party reporting and carbon footprint accounting guidance.
  • Applies across Supply Chain Activities within and between Entities, but not to specific product or shipment outputs.
  • Employs a “Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach”: convergence on a sectoral emissions intensity target along a 1.5oC Pathway (slope) by (similarly scoped) Entities/assets/corporations/processes, no matter the starting point (baseline).
  • Rules for baseline year and Intermediate Target setting are defined.
  • Flexible applicability: singular portfolio (Entity) slope, individual Supply Chain Activity slopes or slopes measured across a number of Entities (corporate or group scale).
  • For Primary aluminium:
    • Fixed boundary, mine to smelter Casthouse (measured at Casthouse output)
    • Cradle to gate emissions (all direct and upstream indirect)
    • Electrolytic metal only –metal tapped from potroom and subsequently cast
    • Choice of slope – all emissions in a single Pathway or electricity and non-electricity emissions split in two Pathways
  • For Casthouses (remelting) and Semi-fabrication
    • Two Pathways per supply chain activity (SCA):
      • Single procurement slope: scope 3 (indirect emission) category 1 (purchased goods and services) for aluminium inputs only
      • Process emissions slope: scopes 1 & 2 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, and indirect emissions from the generation of purchase energy, respectively)
    • Only two data points are required to generate slopes for each SCA.
  • For Material Conversion
    • Single procurement slope (scope 3 category 1)
    • Only one data point is required to generate a slope.

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