MONTREAL, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan is proud to be participating in Empreinte Carbone Québec, a carbon footprint pilot project launched today by the Ministère du Développement Économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (Quebec's Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export).
"We welcome the Québec government's initiative, which will allow us to move forward with the commercialisation of carbon footprint-certified products. This pilot project will strengthen our competitive edge while preparing us for the increasingly stringent requirements of our major clients," said Étienne Jacques, Chief Operating Officer, Rio Tinto Alcan Primary Metal, North America. "We're very proud to be involved and to provide our expertise in the area of reducing green house gas emissions. By taking part in this project, Rio Tinto Alcan is undertaking to conduct a carbon footprint assessment of all its products," explained Jacques.
With this partnership, Rio Tinto Alcan will be contributing to the development of a harmonisation process with the government in an effort to address the methodological challenges of calculating carbon footprint.
The aluminium industry contributes the most of any industry to the reduction of green house gases (GHGs) in Québec. Rio Tinto Alcan has reduced its GHG emissions by 50 per cent, while increasing production by 55 per cent at its Québec smelters in the period from 1990 to 2008. Moreover, the reduction of Rio Tinto Alcan's GHG emissions surpasses overall reductions reported for Québec industry as a whole.
"Taken together, Rio Tinto Alcan's plants in Québec have already exceeded the Québec government's target of a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, which clearly demonstrates our capacity to sustain growth, while achieving a remarkable rate of reducing GHG emissions," noted Nigel Steward, Rio Tinto Alcan's Vice President, Carbon, Energy and Climate Change.
Respect for nature and the environment in the communities where Rio Tinto Alcan operates is a longstanding commitment. Several years ago, Rio Tinto Alcan embarked on a green shift with various projects aimed at reducing carbon footprint. For instance, Rio Tinto Alcan helps offset the Montreal International Jazz Festival's carbon emissions by buying carbon credits. Rio Tinto Alcan also contributes to research on the impact of climate change by providing financial support to the OURANOS research consortium, a non-profit organization working on regional climatology and adaptation to climate change.
The aluminium produced in modern facilities in Québec generates three to four times less GHG emissions than the global average, and seven to eight times less than producers who are still using fossil fuels. "In Québec, we are fortunate to have access to hydro electricity, a renewable energy that emits little green house gases. As a result of ongoing and planned improvements, including the use of hydro electricity, Rio Tinto Alcan emissions in Québec are among the lowest in the world," added Steward.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.
For further information: