UK aluminium sector Net Zero: Industry association believes in sustainability of aluminium
The UK’s aluminium industry has a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to drive sustainability, the circular economy, and the transition to Net Zero according to a leading sector expert.
Tom Jones, CEO of the Aluminium Federation (Alfed) believes aluminium’s lightweight properties and the fact it can be easily recycled will be crucial in helping UK manufacturing lead the way when it comes to Net Zero. He made the rallying call after the release of the organisation’s latest report reveals more than 39,000 people are directly employed in this manufacturing discipline, with a total GVA of nearly three billion pounds.
Undertaken in partnership with the Fraser of Allander Institute, the document goes on to use an economic model that predicts the sector’s real value is closer to 7.4 billion pounds and supports employment of 104,000 full-time jobs when you consider the indirect impact of this unique material.
However, he also warns that both the Government and the sector needs to be bolder and braver when it looks at increasing domestic capacity, so that it can support increased demand from the automotive, aerospace, construction, packaging, rail and shipbuilding supply chains.
“We’ve come through Covid-19 and Brexit, and I’m pleased to say the impact of the Aluminium industry in the UK is growing once again and we stand on the verge of something really exciting…if we have the courage to lead the way in supporting sustainable manufacturing and the journey to Net Zero,” explained Tom Jones, who joined the Aluminium Federation nearly five years ago.
“Demand is definitely out there, but, as it stands, we only have one primary smelter on our domestic shores and that will just not be enough going forward…we need to build supply chain independence at both the source and downstream in the producers of castings, extrusions and profiles.”
He continued: “Aluminium is so light and strong, with its green credentials unmatched. For example, our Net Zero Report highlighted that eight grams of carbon emissions are saved every kilometre for each 100 kg reduction in a car’s mass, thanks to aluminium-driven lightweighting.