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27 June 2022

The First Movers Coalition (FMC) is a global initiative focused on seven hard to abate industrial sectors

These currently account for 30% of global GHG emissions: Aluminium, Aviation, Chemicals, Concrete, Shipping, Steel, and Trucking; as well as the development of Carbon Removal technologies.

It aims to affect change by securing corporate purchasing pledges for low carbon materials and services, accelerating the development of technologies that are not yet competitive with current carbon-intensive solutions, but which must reach commercial scale by 2030 to achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050.

More than 50 companies (worth around $8.5 trillion) and nine governments (covering over 40% of global GDP) have joined the Coalition, launched by US President Biden and the World Economic Forum at COP26.

ASI members Apple, Ball Corporation, Novelis and Trafigura have joined Ford Motor Company and Volvo Group in signing up to the new aluminium commitment to source at least 10% (by mass) of the primary aluminium they procure every year as low-carbon aluminium by 2030.


Accelerating development of novel technologies to drive emissions reduction

The FMC define low carbon primary aluminium as having a footprint of less than 3 tonnes of CO2e per tonne aluminium, including all emissions from cradle to gate (mine to casthouse, excluding scrap input).  This value is less than that achieved by any electrolytic aluminium currently available, requiring a fully decarbonised power supply and the development and deployment of novel technologies, which the FMC is looking to help accelerate.  Such technologies include inert anodes, CCUS (carbon capture use and storage), green hydrogen, and mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) in alumina refining.


Both the First Movers Coalition and the ASI Certification program recognise and support the critical role of supply chain drivers for sustainability transformations

The market pull for the development of such technologies is seen as driving change towards the required global average of 0.5 t/t primary aluminium that is needed by 2050 to align with a 1.5 degree scenario.

In addition to the primary aluminium procurement commitment, FMC signatories are also invited to undertake an optional commitment to procure at least 50% of all aluminium from recycled sources aluminium by 2030.  This aligns with the global average required for the whole of the sector by 2050 under a 1.5 degree scenario – up from 33% today.

ASI had input to the technical development of the FMC numbers, ensuring alignment with its commitment to a 1.5 degree aligned aluminium industry and the strengthened Principle 5 (GHG Emissions) in Performance Standard v3 (2022).  The new ASI Performance Standard requires that Industrial Users (as well as Production and Transformation class ASI members) have 1.5 degree aligned emissions reduction pathways that include all direct and indirect emissions.  Such Entities will need to address procurement of metal to meet these criteria, given that their scope 3 (category 1) emissions from primary aluminium dominate their aluminium-product related emissions inventory.

Updates to the ASI Chain of Custody Standard (V2, 2022) in section 9.3 are also of relevance here, given that optional sustainability data disclosure associated with CoC material shipments includes carbon footprint (cradle to gate) and recycled content, with transparency on accounting methods used.

Both the First Movers Coalition and the ASI Certification program recognise and support the critical role of supply chain drivers for sustainability transformations.  It will be exciting to see the role of aluminium consuming sectors in accelerating the technological change required by upstream industry and through better product design, scrap collection, sorting and resource recovery.


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