Reynaers Aluminium commits to maximally reducing the carbon footprint

Reynaers Aluminium increases considerably the purchase of primary produced aluminium from green energy sources. The European leader in architectural aluminium window, door and façade systems made clear agreements with their suppliers. The decision has a big impact on the carbon footprint. “We chose durable and sustainable electricity in the primary production of aluminium. We keep improving the environmental impact”, says Erik Rasker, CTO of Reynaers.

The aluminium industry is constantly focusing on improving the carbon footprint of the aluminium production. A big part of this carbon footprint is related to the need for electricity in the production process. Erik Rasker: “The aluminium used in Europe currently generates an average of 8.6 kg CO2 per kg aluminium. The majority of this CO2 is attributable to the energy source. By using green electricity, the footprint can drop to 4 kg. This is what we call ‘low carbon primary aluminium’. With the decision to purchase low carbon primary aluminium, our company will realize a reduction of CO2 of more than 25% (compared to reference volumes of 2019).”

Continuously reducing CO2 impact

The Hall-Héroult process, an electrolytic process, is used to turn aluminium oxide in primary aluminium. According to European Aluminium (www.european-aluminium.eu), the energy efficiency of this process has been improved by over 50 percent in the last decades. The focus on improving the energy consumption during this process remains top priority, as this represents a large percentage of the cost of the aluminium production. In future, new innovations will ensure that the residual impact, next to the impact by the electricity input, can decrease even further.

Recyclability of aluminium

Unlike many other materials, aluminium keeps its durable characteristics in the recycling process. That means you can recycle it endlessly without any loss in quality. Recycling aluminium requires only 5 percent of the original energy input. This means avoiding 8 tons of CO2 emissions per ton aluminium. The only limitation today is the availability of scrap material. “Due to the long lifecycle of aluminium in many applications, the available aluminium scrap currently covers only 40 percent of the world demand”, admits Erik Rasker. “This percentage will definitely grow due to, amongst others, the worldwide renovation of buildings. Increasing the recycled content in particular products however will not affect the global environmental impact, as all available aluminium scrap is already being recycled to the maximum.”

“The lifecycle of aluminium windows and doors has an average of over 40 years, lifecycles of over 60 years are no exceptions.”Erik Rasker

Long lifecycle of aluminium windows and doors

The durability of aluminium is clearly recognizable by the very long usage of aluminium windows and doors in buildings. Aluminium is not affected by UV rays or moisture and doesn’t corrode or rot.

Aerial of Reynaers roof solar cells

About Reynaers Aluminium

Reynaers Aluminium is a leading European specialist in the development and marketing of innovative and sustainable aluminium solutions for windows, doors, curtain walls, sliding systems, sun screening and conservatories. Driven by innovation, the company focuses on energy-efficiency and taking responsibility for the environment. Also in-house, Reynaers Aluminium continues to work on an optimal sustainability policy. Around the Reynaers Campus, a large green zone has been developed that ensures optimal and sustainable water management. The company was also amongst the first to install solar panels on a large-scale. In addition, the company has for years been focusing on alternative and creative transport solutions for commuter traffic: from electric bicycles and carpooling to company cars with low CO2 emissions. With this policy, Reynaers Aluminium saw its CO2 footprint falling sharply over a short period. All initiatives relating to sustainability are encouraged throughout the company and yearly CSR awards are granted to the subsidiaries with the best projects for improving the sustainability of Reynaers.