Fortune to List 'Green Giants,' Aluminum Assoc. Takes Charge to
It seems as though not a week passes now that some company, local
municipality, or industry group lays out plans to address emissions
control in the United States. During the week ending 24 March 2007 The
Aluminum Association made public the group's “Position on Climate
Change Policies” with the idea that under self-regulation Washington DC
would keep its distance. On a wider scale, in the upcoming week Fortune magazine will release its
top "Green Giant" companies for the magazine's first "Green Issue."
Patrick Franc who is chairman of The Aluminum Association and president
of ARCO Aluminum/BP said of self-regulation that, “We believe that it
is important for the United States' aluminum industry to assume a
leadership position in this cause for environmental sustainability of
our industry and products, on a market-wide and global basis.”
The Aluminum Association recognizes that climate change presents a
challenge that requires cooperative action and promotes international
While the aluminum industry has made considerable reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions, according to Steve Larkin, president of the
association, he said that contributions through recycling and
downstream emissions reductions through better, less emitting
automobiles, would help the United States and other countries protect
The Aluminum Association currently reduced overall energy consumption
in total aluminum production by approximately 46 percent, and reduced
greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 38 percent. The industry sees
opportunity for further reduction and supports policy that provides
incentives for recycling.
Automotive applications show that replacing two pounds of traditional
material with one pound of aluminum to lightweight a vehicle can save
on a typical mid-size sedan 20 pounds of CO2 emissions over the
lifetime of that vehicle. The use of automotive aluminum has doubled
since 1991 and is expected to double again in the next decade.
The aluminum industry’s Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership
reduced PFC emissions 45 percent from 1990 to year 2000. "It supports
an economy-wide, fair market-driven approach that may include a cap and
trade program that limits greenhouse gas emissions. The approach should
result in market incentives that stimulate investment and innovation in
technologies necessary to grow while achieving environmental reduction
targets," the group stated.
The aluminum industry operates about 200 plants in 30 states, employs
about 100,000 people with approximately $3.5 billion on total payroll,
and accounts for 16 percent of world supply or some 8 billion pounds of
In 2003 the primary aluminum sector joined the United States' Climate
Vision program to further reduce PFC emissions. This goal of 53 percent
reduction on direct CO2 emissions (a combined direct carbon emission
from 1990 to 2010 based upon PFC reductions and reduced anode carbon
consumption) equates to an additional reduction of 25 percent since
year 2000. This goal was surpassed in 2005 with a 56 percent reduction
Fortune's Picks Turn Green
Some companies the association suggested would benefit from aluminum
use made it onto the upcoming 2 April 2007 issue of Fortune magazine.
Fortune named Honda,
Continental Airlines, Goldman Sachs, and Hewlett-Packard among the
leading companies featured in the magazine's first special report
showing those who have gone green for the sake of the environment.
Fortune chose 10 companies it
determined reaches past what the law requires to operate in an
environmentally responsible way. The companies cited by Fortune also included Suncor,
Tesco, Alcan, PG&E, S.C. Johnson, and Swiss RE. In separate
stories, Fortune also noted the environmental efforts of Patagonia,
DuPont, and California's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The “10 Green
Giants” and related stories appear on newsstands 26 March.
Magazine senior writer Marc Gunther reported in the upcoming issue that
“big business and environmentalists used to be sworn enemies -- and for
good reason. General Electric dumped toxins into the Hudson River.
Wal-Mart bulldozed its way across [the United States.] DuPont was named
the nation’s worst polluter. The response from the environmental
movement: Mandate, regulate, and litigate. Those days are mostly over.
"Today big companies and activists are at least as apt to hammer out a
partnership over a cup of sustainable grown coffee as to confront one
another in court. No, they do not always see eye to eye, but the areas
of common ground are getting broader. Why? For one thing, because there
is money to be made,” Gunther wrote.
Fortune chose the companies
recommended by environmentalists and consultants who have worked in the
trenches of corporate United States. Fortune
kept to larger companies because their environmental footprint is more
important and left GE and Wal-Mart off the list citing those two
polluters have already been covered extensively.
In “California Dreamin” Nina Easton interviews Schwarzenegger for
Fortune regarding his mission
to make California and Republicans environmentally friendly.
Schwarzenegger said that some politicians in the two party system do
not understand the issues. "But I would say I have a tougher time
selling those things to the Republicans,” Schwarzenegger was quoted.
The governor said that with the issue of climate change, whether it is
hype or not, the issue boils down to: "We know that is a phenomenon
that is happening. We know that the water is rising. We know that we
are polluting the world. All of this is reality.”
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