Rio Tinto Alcan is participating in Empreinte Carbone Québec, a carbon footprint pilot project launched by the Quebec's Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export.

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.

"Wewelcome 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.

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%, while increasing production by 55% at its Québec smelters between 1990 and 2008. 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% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, which demonstrates our capacity to sustain growth, while achieving a remarkable rate of reducing GHG emissions," said Nigel Steward, Rio Tinto Alcan's Vice President, Carbon, Energy and 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.

Alusolutions 2013 - The global forum on sustainability in the aluminium industry. It takes place in Montreal, Quebec between May 2 & 3 next year.