Rio Tinto agrees to supply BMW with low-carbon aluminum

Rio Tinto agrees to supply BMW with low-carbon aluminum

Anglo-Australian diversified miner Rio Tinto announced on Tuesday it would supply carmaker BMW with responsibly sourced aluminum to help the latter lower its carbon footprint.

The companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing that the aluminum produced by Rio in Canada will be delivered to BMW’s production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, starting in 2024.

The companies also agreed to cooperate on Rio Tinto’s blockchain-based sustainability, transparency and traceability solution for the aluminium industry, named START, launched in 2021.

Why it matters

The amount of possible deliveries was not announced, but the companies see a reduction in CO2 emissions by up to 70% compared to the BMW Group’s benchmark for the metal.

Rio boasts carbon free smelting technology for aluminum, dubbed ELYSIS, which sees the metal produced without direct carbon dioxide emissions during the smelting process, instead emitting pure oxygen.

“We have clear goals for lowering CO2 emissions in the supply chain. By using innovative materials, we can reduce our vehicles’ carbon footprint – even before handing them over to customers. 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,” BMW AG board member in charge for procurement, Joachim Post, said. icon

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