Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products (AWTP) has announced that their global line of wheel products are now Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM at the Silver level, resulting from material choices and production processes that are environmentally safe and healthy and aluminium that is infinitely recyclable. Alcoa wheels are the first products in the transportation industry to receive certification from the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Program, a factor that can be attributed to the uniquely sustainable characteristics of Alcoa aluminium.
The evaluation of Alcoa wheels was conducted by MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemisty), a global sustainability consulting and product certification firm that developed the Cradle to Cradle® concept in 1995. This multi-attribute eco-label assesses products for safety to human and environmental health, design for future use cycles, and sustainable manufacturing processes. Products are evaluated for material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy use, water stewardship and social responsibility.
“Sustainability is at the heart of Alcoa, our business practices and our products, and something we strive for excellence in,” said Tim Myers, President, Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products.
“With an increased interest in sustainable solutions within the transportation industry, this certification is a landmark recognition of our efforts to ensure that each of our customers receive the most safe and environmentally-conscious products we can provide.”
To date, MBDC has certified more than 425 products in various industries and 125 companies worldwide have engaged in the Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM program.
“An industry leader in sustainability, Alcoa has achieved Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Silver for a number of other products, including Alcoa primary aluminium,” said Jay Bolus, Vice President of Technical Operations, MBDC.
“This latest certification demonstrates that Alcoa wheel products are pioneering the way for more sustainable solutions within the transportation industry.
Alcoa understands the importance of sustainability and renewable energy which goes back to 1917, when the company began using hydroelectric power as a key source of energy for smelting operations worldwide. In North America alone, Alcoa’s own hydro facilities generate more than 5.4 billion kilowatt hours for the company’s operations.
In 2007 Alcoa’s first Greenfield smelter in 20 years went on line in Iceland, powered by sustainable hydropower. Alcoa has set aggressive targets to drive optimum performance within the business, this includes the goal to improve carbon dioxide intensity by 30% by 2020 and a 35% improvement by 2030 from a 2005 baseline. At the end of 2011 Alcoa had reached 23% of this target.
As a light, strong, versatile metal that recycles over and over again, aluminium offers energy-saving solutions to consumers and industry that few other materials can match. The use of aluminium can in fact improve fuel economy and reduce emissions in automobiles, trucks, trains and ships.
In the critical transportation industry, Alcoa’s research in lifecycle modelling has shown that by 2030 the emissions of the entire aluminium industry can be offset by the potential emission savings from the transport sector’s increased use of aluminium.