Rio Tinto, BMW MoU highlights growing consumer demand for sustainable automotive materials

Growing consumer demand for automotive manufacturers to use sustainable materials is driving the uptake of low-carbon aluminium, with producer Rio Tinto announcing a partnership with BMW Group to supply the metal

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore how to embed low-carbon aluminium into BMW’s supply chain, under which Rio Tinto will look to provide responsibly sourced aluminium to the BMW’s vehicle production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for use in body components from 2024.

Low-carbon primary aluminium from Rio Tinto’s hydro-powered operations in Canada, combined with recycled content, could generate a reduction of up to 70% in CO2 emissions compared with the BMW Group’s benchmark for aluminium, it said.

Rio Tinto’s carbon-free smelting technology for aluminium enables the production of metal without direct carbon dioxide emissions during the smelting process, instead emitting pure oxygen.

“The agreement to supply low-carbon aluminium is based on several pillars: in addition to hydroelectric power and secondary material, we also want to lead the automotive industry by ramping up our use of aluminium with no direct CO2 emissions from the smelting process,” Joachim Post, responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network at BMW, said.

In response to the growing aluminium sustainability sector, Fastmarkets launched low-carbon aluminium differentials for primary aluminium and value-added products to provide more transparency in the market.

Fastmarkets’ monthly assessment of the aluminium low-carbon differential, value-added product, Europe was $5-25 per tonne on February 3, widening up from $5-15 per tonne at its launch in March 2021.

Consumer interest in sustainability and the emissions profile of the materials used to build their cars is growing, with producers developing and offering new products to meet this demand. BMW also has green metal agreements with aluminum producer EGA to be used at its Plant Landshut in Germany.

What to read next
Glencore’s Gary Nagle might have spoken too soon when he said that his company wouldn’t be hit by a nickel fraud similar to that seen by its rival, Trafigura
Fastmarkets proposes to amend its steel cut-to-length plate carbon grade, fob mill US assessment to exclude material below 0.375 inches of thickness, which is sold with an added cost by several major mills.
The European Union’s much-anticipated Critical Raw Materials Act, announced on Thursday March 16 by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, has set out new lists of the raw materials now formally designated as strategic and critical
The London Metal Exchange is facing lawsuits seeking damages collectively worth more than half a billion dollars for losses that investors allege they suffered as a result of nickel trades being canceled by the exchange last year
The publication of a number of Fastmarkets’ price assessments was delayed on Thursday March 16 for technical reasons.
Continued tightness of class one supply within Europe and increased buying interest amid falling London Metal Exchange nickel prices and fresh liquidity have prompted an increase in premiums within Europe, while US and Chinese premiums remain steady for now
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.