Special Feature (December 2023)

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Special Feature Broadening aluminum’s usages and applications with a forward-looking approach to the market

The more aluminum is used, the more beneficial it becomes

Aluminum has diverse properties that make it useful for a broad range of applications. As are result, the metal is widely used across industries and for countless everyday items today.

Aluminum also contributes to reducing CO2 emissions the more it is recycled. In fact, the amount of CO2 emitted from recycled aluminum production is only about 3% of the total CO2 emitted from the aluminum smelting process.

With this in mind, the UACJ Group is working to expand beyond its established business domains and help build a circular economy for aluminum products. In this way, it aims to generate a value cycle by utilizing and recycling aluminum more than ever. At the same time, the Group is promoting broader awareness of aluminum’s value to create new opportunities for the metal’s usage and applications. With a forward-looking approach to the market, the Group is taking on these challenges to realize its vision for a more sustainable aluminum industry in the future.

Challenge 1

Build a circular economy for aluminum to reduce environmental impacts

The more aluminum is used and recycled, the more it can contribute to the functions and performance of products, which ultimately leads to more value. From this standpoint, the UACJ Group has been taking steps to create a circular economy spanning various industries, beginning with closed-loop recycling systems for aluminum cans and automotive parts. A circular economy for aluminum products offers three major benefits. First, it reduces CO2 emissions from the smelting of new aluminum ingots by supplying electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Second, it lowers the environmental impact of products at the usage stage, such as by making vehicles lighter. Third, a circular economy reduces the need for newly smelted aluminum by recycling the aluminum contained in products over and over.

* Aluminum produced using electricity from renewable energy sources to lower the environmental impact

Challenge 2

Raise awareness of aluminum’s benefits and promote its adoption for all kinds of products

To promote more applications for aluminum in the market and raise awareness of aluminum among consumers, the UACJ Group has been integrating its marketing and technological development in an effort to effectively brand its products. For this purpose, the Company established its Marketing & Technology Division in April 2023 to oversee the Group’s R&D divisions with the goal of creating, cultivating, and expanding new businesses that utilize the Group’s technologies.

As a first step in this direction, UACJ launched a new brand of aluminum products called ALmitas+ in September 2023. The products are currently being used for outdoor recreational equipment and go-karts, but the Company plans to expand beyond these usages in the future by adding new functions and developing new applications.

The brand name, ALmitas+, was created by combining the Japanese words meaning “aluminum,” “to add,” and “to satisfy,” reflecting UACJ’s desire to make aluminum products even more interesting, exciting, and satisfying.

A Discussion on Technology

For more information about the topics discussed above, please refer to the following discussion between Seiichi Hirano, Chief Executive of the Marketing & Technology Division, and Outside Director Yoshitaka Mitsuda, featured in UACJ’s latest integrated report.

UACJ Report 2023 (PDF)

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