Green aluminum carbon categorization | Nexigen®

Aluminum categorization


Windows, facades, aircraft and auto parts, or drink cans – the list of applications for aluminum is long and varied. Global aluminum production has grown by 87% since 2008 (as of 2022) and demand for the metal is still rising. Annual growth of 3.6% is forecast between now and the end of the decade.

However, aluminum production has one drawback: On average, aluminum has the highest carbon footprint of all metals (up to 20,000 kg CO2 per metric ton of aluminum).

Due to the impending consequences of climate change and the urgent need to reduce emissions, demand for CO2-reduced aluminum products is rising. Therefore, we developed a categorization system that makes the carbon footprint of aluminum products immediately visible to our customers and all other partners in the supply chain. This way, customers can reduce their own carbon footprint more consciously and include more sustainable products in their portfolios. This enhanced transparency also creates further incentives for the use of more sustainable production processes on the manufacturing side.


Nexigen® aluminum categorization



Emission in kg CO₂/ t aluminum

Emission in kg CO2/t aluminum


How our categorization works


We divide CO2-reduced aluminum products into five categories based on the actual footprint from resource extraction and production to the point where they leave our warehouse. They range from START (with a footprint from 5,500 to 4,000 kg CO2 per metric ton) to PRIME (1,000 to 0 kg CO2 per metric ton).

BALANCED is a separate category for “reduced balance” aluminum products. Depending on the raw materials and energy sources used, products manufactured within the same production facility may have different carbon footprints. Balancing involves first taking the facility’s total CO2 emissions into account and then calculating the average carbon emissions per metric ton of the manufactured product. Reduced emissions are thus allocated to limited volumes, which reduces the carbon footprint balance. These aluminum products fall within our BALANCED category.

✓ Methodology based on international standards
Our calculation methodology follows the internationally renowned GHG Protocol.

✓ All emissions from resource extraction and production to the point where they leave our warehouse are included
Emission ratings include production (Scope 1), purchased power (Scope 2) & supplier chain (Scope 3 Upstream).

✓ No offsetting is included in CO2 load categorization
The physical production emissions determine the product’s categorization; CO2-offsetting is not included.


More background information on aluminum

After bauxite (aluminum ore) is mined, it first undergoes purification and calcination processes to extract aluminum oxide. Electrolysis is then carried out to extract primary aluminum. This highly energy-intensive production stage is responsible for the majority of all emissions, since the required electricity is usually generated from fossil fuels. Following electrolysis, the material – in the form of ingots – is processed at the plant into hot-rolled sheet or hot-rolled plate. The material is then cold rolled to prepare it for a variety of applications.





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