Innovative, circular

& low-carbon products

thanks to aluminium

Every one of us uses aluminium daily. It is in the phone you use, the car you drive, the can you drink from, and the pans you cook with. Aluminium’s endless recyclability and unique properties bring remarkable advantages to mobility, building & construction, packaging, and more. But did you know that aluminium also plays a vital role in the transition to a more sustainable energy system and a greener, more circular economy? Aluminium is a critical component in solar panels, electrical transmission systems, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles, for example. Read all about the many uses of our “anything but basic” metal below!

The metal for today, tomorrow – forever

Aluminium is the world’s most used non-ferrous metal – and for good reasons. In its use phase, aluminium delivers significant energy and CO2 savings that enable the decarbonisation of other sectors, including mobility and transport, buildings, packaging and clean energy technologies. The endless recyclability of our metal further contributes to decarbonisation and the circular economy. Because aluminium can be recycled over and over again, it is no surprise that 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still on the market today!

Key applications

Aluminium: an enabler of solar power

Aluminium’s corrosion resistance and light weight make it an optimal choice for solar modules. According to the World Bank, our metal already accounts for 85% of most solar photovoltaic components.  Increasing solar PV capacity from today’s 136 gigawatts to 600 gigawatts by 2030, as proposed by the EU Solar Strategy, will require +10 million tonnes of aluminium.

The many benefits of using aluminium in cars

A lighter car with a lower carbon footprint

By making vehicles lighter using aluminium, they use less fuel and emit fewer emissions without compromising safety. Aluminium’s lightweighting properties enable cars produced in Europe this year to prevent 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions during their lifetime.

Better range for electric vehicles

Aluminium helps electric and hybrid cars stay light, which is one of the most effective ways to improve a vehicle’s energy efficiency. The lighter the vehicle is, the longer it can drive on one charge, saving time and money.

More protection for safer cars

An aluminium crash box folds predictably and absorbs twice as much crash energy per kilogram as a steel solution. With only a third of the density of steel, aluminium crash-sensitive components can be made with a greater wall-thickness and still reduce weight. Furthermore, aluminium extrusions offers design flexibility that, together with aluminium sheet and casting components, makes aluminium the preferred solution for safety-critical components like battery boxes and bumpers.

Improved recycability

In today’s modern plants, 95% of aluminium in an end-of-life vehicle is successfully and profitably re-used or recycled into new aluminium products, substituting primary aluminium. Recycling aluminium is great for the environment and uses only 5% of the energy required to produce primary aluminium.

Driving the EU's Renovation Wave with our energy-efficient building solutions

Currently, only 1% of buildings in the EU undergo energy-efficient renovation annually. The EU’s Renovation Wave, a flagship initiative of the EU Green Deal, aims to double annual energy renovation rates in the next 10 years.

As a result of the EU’s Renovation Wave, the demand for our sustainable building solutions is expected to grow significantly. The renovation of old buildings using energy-efficient aluminium solutions that minimise heat loss and maximise heat gains offers a huge opportunity to improve the environmental performance of buildings in Europe.

On the way towards 100% recycling for aluminium beverage cans

Today, Europe’s recycling rate for used aluminium beverage cans stands at 76% (2019), an important milestone in our joint roadmap to 100% recycling of aluminium cans by 2030 with Metal Packaging Europe. This ambitious target can only be reached if European packaging collection systems are further optimised or replaced by balanced deposit return schemes (DRS) for beverage cans and other relevant beverage containers.