Aluminum leaders talk environment, China

An aggressive approach to sustainable development and the effects of the Chinese aluminum production were two major topics at the annual meeting of The Aluminum Assn. (Washington, DC) held Sept. 30 to Oct. 1.

G. John Pizzey, executive vice president of Alcoa (Pittsburgh, PA) reported on his company’s moves to be more environmentally responsible, and he called for the entire industry to be innovators in sustainable development. Pizzey announced that Alcoa has established a new corporate recycled content goal: by 2020, 50% of company products will be made of recycled aluminum, except for ingot sold to others.

“Sustainable development provides a framework that allows us to address how we do business, how we interact with our plant communities and other stakeholders, and how we look at public policy issues,” Pizzey told the group. “This is a core issue for Alcoa and for the global aluminum industry.”

Responding to predictions that increases in Chinese aluminum production could flood the market and send prices spiraling down, Cynthia Carroll, president of Alcan Primary Metal Group (Cleveland, OH) told the group she thought this was unlikely. “Rather than becoming a destabilizing influence, China will emerge as a dynamic and valued member of the global aluminum industry,” she predicted. Further, Carroll stated that China wasn’t likely to become a consistent net exporter of aluminum for many years to come. —AO

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