Hydro's message was clear: its rolled aluminium products can benefit the global climate through fuel saving, lightweight cars, food protection and by preventing energy losses in buildings.

To seal the message, the company has provided its figures to the Denkstatt Institute in Vienna, a world-renowned assessor of sustainability reports, and it has applied the principles of ISO 14040 and 14044. Hydro's study, says the DI, 'has been created in a logical, transparent and...coherent manner and provides a comprehensive picture of the climate effects of the studied aluminium products in all important phases of the lifecycle.'

Hydro's calculations indicate 'an annual net avoidance of 8.9 million tonnes emissions of carbon dioxide and respective other gases with relevance for the climate,' claims the company.

Its figure of 8.9 million tonnes includes emissions caused by the company's total shipments of rolled aluminium products in 2011 including bauxite mining, refining and primary production.

Oliver Bell, executive vice president of Hydro's rolled products division, said the figures provide a strong indication that Hydro's work helps to ease the burden on the world climate, despite the high energy required to extract the primary metal.

The figures also incorporate Hydro's rolled products recycling activities, including emissions created through the act of recycling (which have been added to the negative side of the calculation).

On average, claims Hydro, every metric ton of rolled products eases the carbon burden by 9.6 tons of carbon dioxide.

Hydro argues that the climate benefits from the use phase alone more than compensate for all production emissions.

"For long-term resource efficiency, one-sided emphasis on 'recycled content' does not help much. It depends on the entire life cycle of the product ensuring that aluminium is produced at low effort, has many benefits in its application, is easy to recycle at the end of the use phase and is recycled ever-more efficiently, to always secure its next life. This is what we strive for," Bell concluded.