EGA recognized for its ESG Performance by Aluminium Stewardship

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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EGA gets Performance Standard certification
Rep.Image (Courtesy: EGA)

Al Taweelah alumina refinery of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in UAE outside oil and gas, has been certified for its environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative.

EGA operational assets around the world are now certified to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standard V2 (2017).

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative is a global, non-profit organization that brings together aluminum producers, end-users such as BMW Group and Nespresso, civil society, and the public through consultation, to determine what constitutes good sustainability performance in the aluminum sector.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery has amongst the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in the alumina refining industry, due to highly efficient processes and operations.

The responsible management of bauxite residue, a by-product from the refining process, has been a key priority for the Al Taweelah alumina refinery since before its construction. EGA’s Research & Development team has made a global breakthrough in the reuse of bauxite residue as a manufactured soil, and is advancing further potential uses including in novel construction materials. Finding viable re-uses for bauxite residue has been a challenge for the alumina refining industry for more than a century.

More broadly, EGA was the first company in the world to make aluminum commercially using solar power. Generating the electricity required for aluminum smelting using fossil fuels accounts for more than half of the global aluminum industry’s CO2 emissions.

Abdulnasser bin Kalban_EGA gets Performance Standard certification
Abdulnasser bin Kalban

“Aluminium has an essential role to play in the development of a more sustainable society, and it also matters how sustainably aluminum is made. Certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standard is a transparent and independent verification of our commitment to sustainability, and I am proud all EGA’s operational assets are now certified. Our next goal is to start producing ASI-certified metal during next year, and to produce only ASI-certified metal by 2030.”

Ms. Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, said that “We warmly congratulate EGA on achieving Performance Standard certification at now all of its global operations. In 2019, EGA became the first company in the Middle East to achieve an Aluminium Stewardship Initiative Performance Standard certification, for its Al Taweelah smelter in the UAE.

“More recently, EGA’s subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation led the way by achieving the first certification of bauxite mining in Africa for their operations in Guinea, a country with globally important bauxite reserves and also one where the industry’s commitment to sustainability is tested. EGA’s pursuit of certifying all its global operations underscores the relevance and applicability of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative Performance Standard in diverse operational landscapes and reinforces the Standard’s role in fostering responsible practices throughout the entire aluminum value chain,” Ms. Solomon added.

EGA was the first Middle East-headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, back in 2017. EGA’s Al Taweelah site was certified to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standard in 2019, and EGA’s Jebel Ali site was certified in 2021. GAC achieved certification earlier this year.

Sales and distribution of Aluminium Stewardship Initiative-certified metal first require certification against the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Chain of Custody Standard, which lays out criteria for material sourcing management and accounting systems at every step of the aluminum value chain. Based on current planned material flows from both EGA-owned assets and third-party bauxite and alumina suppliers, around half of EGA’s 2024 cast metal production could be potentially certifiable, once Chain of Custody Certification has been achieved.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery began production in 2019, after an investment in its development of some $3.3 billion. The refinery converts bauxite ore into alumina, the feedstock for aluminum smelters.

In 2022, Al Taweelah alumina refinery produced 2.43 million tons of alumina, significantly exceeding its original design capacity and meeting 47 percent of EGA’s total alumina needs.

EGA’s existing separate certifications for its Al Taweelah and Jebel Ali smelter and casting operations, and its new certification for the Al Taweelah alumina refinery, have been combined into a single certification for all EGA operations in the UAE.

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