How we work to create industries that matter
The year 2050 seems far off. Still, to reach our net-zero carbon emissions goal, there is no time to waste. And we’re not. We will produce near-zero carbon aluminium in 2022. We will cut our global carbon emissions 30% by 2030. And we will reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier.
Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and it is our greatest opportunity. The green transition will be one of the main drivers of investments, business development, economic growth, job creation, social development, increased clean energy supply – and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – in the coming decades.
In Hydro, we started our transition decades ago. We have close to 120 years of history of responsible business practices in developing natural resources to create viable societies. We will use our experience to contribute to creating greener products, a circular economy and a more fair society.
What role can Hydro play?
We all play an important part in accelerating this green and fair transition. The world needs more recyclable, low-carbon materials like aluminium, and more renewable energy to meet the challenges of climate change.
Aluminum is part of the solution and enables our customers to reduce their emissions.
Hydro delivers climate solutions every day by producing recyclable, low-carbon aluminum with some of the world’s lowest carbon footprints. In the use phase, aluminium contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, increasing the range of electric cars and making energy-efficient buildings. We expect strong demand for our greener aluminium.
We produce close to 10 TWh renewable hydropower annually. We are working to develop wind projects, solar projects and green hydrogen projects that can replace the use of fossil fuel and fossil-based natural gas – all important enablers to reduce the footprint of our aluminium products.
Our new sustainability ambitions
We recently announced new sustainability ambitions. We aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier. For Hydro to be net zero, leading the way to zero-carbon aluminium through circularity is key. We have updated Hydro’s sustainability ambitions on climate, environment and social responsibility – pillars that are mutually dependent to reach our goals. Because to succeed in decarbonization, we also need to contribute to creating a fair society and circular economy. We are strengthening our ambitions in all these areas.
To reach Hydro’s sustainability ambitions, we will focus on the following:
- Lead the way to zero-emission aluminium, delivering the first commercial volumes of true near-zero emission aluminium in 2022. Hydro is already an industry leader in technology, with an industry-leading carbon footprint 75% below the world average. Our first near-zero carbon aluminium (defined as less than 0.5 kg carbon emission per 1 kg aluminium throughout the value chain) in 2022 will come from more use of recycled post-consumer aluminium. But we need to do more.
Hydro is looking to achieve fully carbon-free aluminium (throughout the value chain) by 2030 and is exploring three technologies: carbon-free primary aluminium using carbon capture and storage (CCS); our own HalZero chloride process; and the third and fastest method, more recycling of post-consumer aluminium. Using 100% post-consumer scrap in combination with a fuel switch to renewable fuel – hydrogen, biogas or direct electricity – for scrap melting, will take our products to zero. We see the technology pathways mentioned above, along with our network of recyclers and their proximity to scrap suppliers and customers, as a key competitive advantage to enable and capture value from more circular business models.
- Achieve no net loss of biodiversity in new projects and eliminate waste. The materials we need in the green transition need to be sourced responsibly to avoid harm to biodiversity and nature. On biodiversity, our existing 1:1 rehabilitation target of areas mined for bauxite within two years has been in place since 2017. It focuses on progressive rehabilitation of areas impacted by mining in Paragominas, Brazil.
Acknowledging the importance of biodiversity to the economy and to the health of our planet, we see a need to lift our efforts further, for our full value chain, and have set an ambition to achieve no net loss of biodiversity in all new projects in Hydro. In addition to these targets, we are introducing an ambition to get as close to “zero waste” as we can by 2050. We aim to eliminate the need for new permanent bauxite residue storage from 2050 and eliminate landfilling of all other recoverable waste by 2040.
- Take a leading role in accelerating a just transition and empowering 500,000 people through education by 2030. The green transition is not only about reaching net zero. It is also about a just transition and equal opportunity. We will contribute to economic development in the societies where we operate. Education and providing young people with skills and training is essential for the future economy.
We will increase our efforts to strengthen traceability and transparency in our supply chain to mitigate any potential negative impacts on people and the environment. In addition, we are setting our own targets on diversity, inclusion and belonging in our operations. This way, we are contributing to the next-generation workforce.
Solutions for the future
Hydro will invest in research and technology to meet these ambitions. We will see increasing demand for low-carbon, recycled and ultimately carbon-free aluminium. Continuing to develop new technologies and improve current ones will be key. Our new-energy units Hydro REIN and Hydro Havrand are examples of our commitment to expand and grow in renewable energy, wind power, solar and green hydrogen. Producing more renewable energy, developing a value chain for battery production and offering green hydrogen for maritime and long-distance transport are opportunities to do business. In doing this, we are also contributing to decarbonizing other businesses and sectors.
In Hydro, we create industries that matter. We will lead the way toward zero emissions, zero biodiversity loss, and an industry that enables and empowers people. We will do our part to deliver solutions the world needs, while contributing to a fair society and circular economy.
We have no time to waste.