The European Commission’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is a critical piece of legislation to achieve a high level of protection for the health of humans and the environment. The Directive is currently being revised and is expected to be implemented in 2023.
European Aluminium is a member of the Industrial Emissions Alliance group and actively cooperates with the European Parliament and Council to revise the IED. Thanks to our expertise in industrial emissions, European Aluminium is an active stakeholder in all matters pertaining to the IED, its implementation at the Member State level, and the drafting of Best Practices Reference Documents (BREFs) for the industry through the Sevilla process.
The aluminium value chain in Europe complies with the highest health and environmental protection standards. We are working with policy makers to ensure that the Best Practice Reference Documents (BREFs) provide a viable approach to determining the Best Available Techniques (BATs) for minimising industrial emissions. We want to ensure that the Best Available Techniques Emission Limit Values (BAT-AELs) in these documents are aligned with what our industry can realistically achieve while remaining a pioneer in environmental compliance.
REACH is the EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances, aiming to improve the protection of human health and the environment by thoroughly assessing the properties of chemical substances produced in Europe or imported and regulating their safe use accordingly. The REACH Regulation is currently under revision after ten years of operation. The legislative proposal is expected by the last quarter of 2022.
Together with the non-ferrous metals association Eurometaux, we have identified five key areas of improvement that will make the revised REACH regulation more effective:
The most relevant substances for our industry in this context are produced substances such as aluminium metal, aluminium oxide and aluminium hydroxide, but also several other substances used in the production process such as, among others, the coal tar pitch in the production of anodes for primary aluminium smelting.
In 2005, we formed The Aluminium REACH Consortium with the International Aluminium Institute to help the aluminium industry comply with REACH legislation by providing the necessary information on REACH classifications and risk assessment.
Alongside REACH, the revised CLP Regulation, which aligns the EU system of classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures to the Globally Harmonised System, will be critical to successfully implementing the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. A legislative proposal and the accompanying impact assessment are expected by the last quarter of 2022.
The European Commission will soon introduce a new harmonised environmental classification for lead metal. The last proposal by the ECHA Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) deviated substantially from ECHA’s metal’s current classification guidance (and was not in line with the harmonised classification of other metals). The result is a significant challenge for the metals industry. In light of the Commission’s ambition to establish a risk-based chemicals framework, we advocate maintaining a workable approach to metal classification and ensuring that the implementation of this environmental classification is viable for the aluminium industry.
Our report covers the environmental impact of the entire aluminium value chain in Europe.
Our Environmental Profile Reports provide data on the aluminium industry’s environmental performance for its key process steps across the entire value chain.
Our report connecting the industry’s Sustainability Roadmap Towards 2025 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Read our report with CSR Europe on how the aluminium industry can contribute to the UN's SDGs.
Our Consortium provides the necessary information on REACH classifications and risk assessment.
The Aluminium REACH Consortium helps assist the aluminium industry to comply with REACH legislation.
Responsible Stewardship throughout the life cycle
Our understanding of environmental stewardship goes beyond mere compliance with environmental requirements. It includes smart product development and improved environmental performance. Our Sustainable Development Indicators and Environmental Profile Reports help record our results and show how the industry continuously lowers its environmental impact.
Looking to the future, our industry has set a number of voluntary targets in its Sustainability Roadmap to ensure the correct management of aluminium production and transformation processes in view of safeguarding the environment.