Aluminum, a fundamental part of a low-carbon future, is made of alumina, a refined oxide that uses bauxite as its raw material. Following the acquisition by Vale of the aluminum business in 2011, Hydro operates a large bauxite mine in the municipality of Paragominas and the alumina refinery Hydro Alunorte in the municipality of Barcarena. These operations feed Hydro's aluminum production worldwide with raw materials.
Operating in vulnerable areas requires the highest standards in health, safety and the environment. Hydro works continuously to improve and contribute to raising industry standards. Hydro seeks to do this in collaboration with communities and local authorities.
As part of Hydro's efforts to always improve, the company has specific and measurable goals, including environmental standards.
Long-term commitment and goals
Hydro acquired operation of the bauxite mine in Paragominas in 2011. The mine is located in secondary forest areas, which was subjected to logging and cattle grazing since 1970. It is not a virgin forest area.
Hydro's long-term aspiration for rehabilitation work is to recover as much of the original forest structure and biodiversity as possible, compared to what it was before logging and agribusiness started in the area.
In 2012, Hydro established a 1 to 1 rehabilitation goal, which means that, each year, the company aims to rehabilitate the mined areas that become available for rehabilitation. Hydro has been making progress towards this goal, reported annually in Hydro's annual report ( page 30- 31 of the 2016 annual report ).
In addition, Hydro aims to close the reforestation gap that existed in 2011, when Hydro took over the mine. This objective, which should be achieved by 2020, means that, in addition to rehabilitating the areas where the company currently carries out mining activities, Hydro also rehabilitates areas that were opened before the acquisition in 2011.
As part of its efforts to achieve long-term aspiration, in 2013, Hydro started and became a partner and main sponsor of the Brazil-Norway BRC research consortium, as quoted on the site hydro.com and no BRC website .
Hydro invested around NOK 10 million in BRC, which brings together Norwegian and Brazilian scientists to develop research on biodiversity and climate to ensure a scientific approach to rehabilitation. The intention is also to share the results and competence with other stakeholders to help Brazil's efforts to achieve the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement. See the BRC page
Hydro is a member of the International Mining and Metals Council, whose main objective is to strengthen the environmental and social performance of the industry. See the ICMM page
Hydro also has a concrete climate goal, with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2020. The goal calculates CO2 emissions from the total aluminum production chain, including the mine operation and the effects of rehabilitation in Paragominas.
The climate strategy also calculates the benefits of using aluminum in products and applications that help reduce CO2 emissions, such as in more energy-efficient cars and buildings, solar applications and packaging.