Atieuno at Aluminium Business Summit Dusseldorf
Shaping a new industrial era’ was the slogan of the Business Summit and it was perfectly reflecting the turbulent time that the aluminium industry faces today.
Sustainability, new mobility, digitalization and all the current changes in the markets were the main topics of the event.
An important part of the discussions was dedicated to the role of aluminum as a key enabler for the circular economy and achievement of carbon neutrality. In his opening speech Serge Gaudin, the Director of Strategy & Sustainability, of Novelis Europe, pointed out that the ambitious climate goals can be achieved only if all industry players work in the same direction. All the discussions that followed pointed in the same direction. Discussing the Green Deal and its relationship with aluminium industry were Hinrich Mählmann (President, Aluminium Deutschland and General Partner, Otto Fuchs), Marius Baader (Managing Director, Aluminium Deutschland), Marko Gernuks (Head of Life Cycle Optimization, Volkswagen), Rob van Gils (CEO & Managing Partner, HAI Group) and Matthias Buchert (Head of Resources & Transport Division, Öko-Institut). The speakers sent a clear message: Despite all the differences they agreed that the Green Deal is a challenge that could be overcome and the goals achieved only if all the industry acts as a whole. The speakers also expressed their concerns about the loss of competitiveness towards non-European producers (China, Russia, and other countries). Alois Winkler, responsible at Audi for its “Responsible Supply Chain Strategy,” brought his perspective. He explained how Audi is committed to transforming its Supply Chain Strategy. As part of that strategy, Audi had introduced an obligatory sustainability rating for its suppliers.
All their suppliers have been assessed based on their sustainability performance and only those that share their values and have integrated them accordingly can continue to work with them.
Aluminum in aerospace and automotive
An insight into the aerospace world was provided by Blanka Lenczowski, Business Manager R&T Development & Partnership Europe at Airbus. The industry, which has committed itself to reduce net CO2 emissions to half the 2005 level by 2050, is increasingly relying on environmentally friendly, sustainable materials technologies, with a particular focus on the circular economy.
According to Rob van Gils, CEO & Managing Partner of HAI Group, the future of aluminium is bright, but under the condition that politics protect competitiveness and guarantee planning security. He had also underlined that the Circularity of the alumnium could be part of solutions for the challenges of the Green Deal. The primary aluminium production is very energy-intensive, but aluminum has an outstanding ability to be recycled over and over again without compromising quality and using only about five percent of the energy needed to produce primary aluminum.