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ASI’s contribution to global climate change action

The COP 21 meetings in Paris in December 2015 resulted in an agreement to keep global average temperatures below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and for countries to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. To date (5 June 2016), 17 Parties have ratified the Paris agreement.

ASI aims to contribute to the global effort for climate change action through the development of its Certification program for the aluminium value chain. The ASI Performance Standard, published in December 2014, explicitly recognises the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and requires entities seeking ASI Certification to commit to reducing their GHG emissions from a lifecycle perspective to mitigate their climate impacts.

The Performance Standard includes specific criteria applicable through the aluminium value chain. All entities seeking ASI Certification are required to publicly disclose GHG emissions and energy use by source on an annual basis, and to publish time-bound emissions reductions targets. The targets need to cover the most material sources of direct and indirect emissions and be supported by implementation plans.

As approximately 80% of all GHG emissions in the aluminium industry worldwide relate to the energy-intensive smelting process, the ASI Performance Standard also includes two smelter-specific criteria. Smelters starting production after 2020 must achieve a level of direct and indirect (Scope 1 and 2) GHG emissions below 8 tonnes CO2-eq per metric tonne of aluminium produced. Existing aluminium smelters that were in production before 2020 must achieve the 8 tonnes CO2-eq per metric tonne level by 2030.

Approximate percentage
of all GHG emissions in the
aluminium industry world-
wide related to the
smelting process:


To put this in perspective, the current global average for aluminium ingot production is estimated to be 12 CO2-eq per metric tonne. ASI’s Performance Standard requirements thus represent a shift towards a lowered emissions profile for the sector that is both significant and long-term. Furthermore, ASI’s Certification program can ideally help to create market drivers for change.

Looking ahead, ASI had committed to explore what a 2°C compliant GHG emissions trajectory would look like for the aluminium sector and will also consider the implications of the new COP 21 global agreement. A GHG Working Group is being established under the ASI Standards Committee, to enable input and engagement with climate change experts, members and stakeholders. Once the implications of the 2°C trajectory have been assessed for the aluminium value chain, ASI will take the findings into account in the next revision of the Performance Standard.

If you are interested in participating in this process, please contact:


This article is an updated excerpt from the December 2015 edition of the ASI Newsletter. You can register to receive the ASI Newsletter here.

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