Aluminium is light. It reduces energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases when it is used in transportation, packaging and other applications. It is 100% renewable. Recycling it requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce the metal the first time around. And aluminium lasts. Its strength, flexibility and longevity makes it a sustainable material that makes products last generations.
Better, Bigger, Greener
The curtailment at the Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil has weakened our financial results and progress of our improvement program. In addition, various tariffs and sanctions have influenced global markets and trade flows over the past year, also affecting our industry.
But as the metal of the future continues to find its way into new applications, demand growth remains firm and future prospects look promising.
More and more of our aluminium is used in automotive applications, light-weighting transportation and reducing carbon emissions in the user phase. Hydro has become one of the world’s leading suppliers of building systems, including energy-efficient roofs, façades and windows solutions. We delivered our first physical metal in the series Hydro 4.0 and Hydro 75R, with a documented low-carbon footprint and record-high recycled content of post-consumer scrap.
Aluminium is a key building block for the low-carbon, circular economy. A brand new fully-electric car ferry to service a 12.5-kilometer fjord crossing in western Norway can serve as an example of the potential for new solutions. Hydro has delivered the rolled and extruded aluminium necessary to lightweight the ferry to enable its electric operations. And we have indirectly taken part in delivering the 3 MWh battery pack that powers the vessel through our 25 percent stake in Corvus Energy. I am convinced that the world will need – and soon will see – more of this kind of innovative and greener transport solutions, enabled by aluminium.
Care, Courage, Collaboration
We marked our new chapter by modernizing our values. We are still the same purpose-driven company aiming to create a more viable society, and our contribution is to help engineer the future and lightweight our planet through innovative and sustainable aluminium products and solutions. We aspire to become better, bigger and greener through continuous improvement of existing operations, selective growth and expansion, and setting new standards within the global aluminium industry. And the values Care, Courage and Collaboration are our guidelines for the way we work to achieve it.
Our performance on safety in 2018 missed our targets. It was with great sorrow that I got the news that an employee of a contracting company died while working for Hydro, at Extruded Solutions in Hungary, in November 2018. At the same time, 77 of our sites were injury-free in 2018, demonstrating that half of all our production facilities don’t just believe that zero is possible – they are doing it and leading the way.
The difference between injury free and a serious injury can often be measured in millimeters, or in milliseconds. We must improve our abilities by learning from all incidents, share our learning from our best practices and bestperforming colleagues, focus on prevention of fatalities and serious injuries – and always strive to make our workplace safer.
Our employees are by far Hydro’s most important asset, and I would like to extend my gratitude to all our 35,000 engaged employees for solving challenges and seizing opportunities and making Hydro perform and improve.
Being engaged in the entire aluminium value chain provides advantages that are unmatched by our global peers. By tracking each step along the way, we are able to document and be transparent about our sustainability practices. As part of taking responsibility, and to contribute to sustainable development, we have taken part in developing the standards of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative. The first Hydro plants have already received certification, and we are on track with our plan to achieve certification along the entire aluminium value chain from mine to recycling in the coming months.
Hydro is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and the Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). Hydro was a co-founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). Hydro became aluminium sector leader in 2018 on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and is included in the UN Global Compact 100 and the FTSE4Good list.
Technology and sustainability
If the global climate challenge is our biggest challenge, technological advancement is our greatest opportunity.
We are pushing the laws of nature to achieve more energyefficient electrolysis. We utilize digitalization, big data and artificial intelligence to optimize and automate processes. We tailor-make specific aluminium properties on the atomic level to innovate new products and solutions that reduces emissions in the user phase.
In short, by bringing to life the unique qualities of aluminium, we address both the greatest threat and opportunity of our time.
Svein Richard Brandtzæg
President and CEO