A simple overview of terms used throughout the low carbon aluminium website.

Throughout this site we refer to a number of terms that might be unfamiliar or unclear, here is a simple overview of the terms and their meaning as it relates to LocAl and Low Carbon Aluminium.

Carbon-dioxide Emissions

Carbon-dioxide emissions refer to emissions stemming from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of aluminium. They include carbon dioxide produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring.

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e)

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) The agreed-upon greenhouse gas emission output for carbon-footprinting LCAs. That is to say that for any type of greenhouse gas, CO2e signifies the amount of CO2 that would have the equivalent global warming impact.

Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint A measure of the direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with phases of a product’s life cycle. Also commonly calculated for individuals or organizations over a period of time.

Carbon Offset

Carbon Offset A reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions of a person or organization’s value chain by investing in equivalent carbon reduction actions that occur outside of the value chain.

Carbon-intensive primary aluminium

Carbon-intensive primary aluminium is virgin aluminium manufactured with fossil energy, thus causing high greenhouse gas emissions.


An assessment that includes part of the product’s life cycle, including material acquisition through to the production of the studied product. It excludes the use and end-of-life stages. When discussing primary aluminium Cradle -to-gate referes to GHG Protocol scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 (categories 1,3 and 4) measured at the smelter casthouse. Within the Aluminium industry you may also see or hear the term ‘Mine to Metal’ used interchangable to describe cradle-to-gate scenarios.


An assessment that considers impacts at every stage of a product’s life cycle, from the natural resource extraction and processing through each subsequent stage of manufacturing, transportation, use, recycling, and final disposal.

Embodied Carbon

Embodied carbon means the total impact of all the greenhouse gases emitted by the material supply chain. This includes raw materials extraction, their transport to manufacturing, manufacturing process, transportation of finished goods, use phase, repair, maintenance and replacement, and end-of-life processing.

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is an environmental label created in line with ISO 14025, that is independently verified and provides transparency on the actual environmental performance of a product.

Global Warming

Also called climate change, the midpoint impact category associated with rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. It leads to endpoint damages such as meteorological disruptions across the globe.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions mean emissions of all greenhouse gases, carbon and others.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment (or LCA) is a method of assessing the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s or a building’s life, from raw material extraction to its processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair, maintenance, and end-of-life treatment or final disposal.

Low Carbon Aluminium

Low-carbon aluminium on this site means primary aluminium with an emissions threshold of 8 tons of CO2eee per ton of aluminium. There’s not yet a standardised performance-based definition for low-carbon aluminium.

Primary Aluminium

Primary aluminium is aluminium made by smelting bauxite or nepheline ore (as opposed to recycled aluminium).


Remelt is the secondary recycling of aluminium, as opposed to the primary raw extraction of aluminium from bauxite. In aluminium remelt furnaces, aluminium is remelted and recycled into new products.


Scope is a set of parameters outlining what is to be measured and how. The scope of an LCA describes the system of interest, impacts to be considered, data type, desired output, system boundaries, and more.

Scope 1 Emissions

Scope 1 Emissions are direct emissions produced directly from a company’s activities, such as GHGs released by furnaces used in manufacturing, or by company-owned assets, such as vehicles.

Scope 2 Emissions

Scope 2 Emissions are indirect emissions from imported energy sources, such as the electricity used in a factory.

Scope 3 Emissions

Scope 3 Emissions are Indirect value chain emissions produced in both upstream and downstream processes, such as capital goods manufacturing, worker commutes, use, disposal and/or recycling of said product.

Supply Chain

Supply Chain is a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.


Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well-being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions.