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European Aluminium Turns 40


20 Oct 2021


Public Affairs

Brussels, 20 October 2021 - Thanks to aluminium’s unique and permanent properties, aluminium has been on a steady growth path since large-scale industrial aluminium production started in 1886. It is now the fastest-growing metal and the second most used metal in the world. Since 1981, the European aluminium industry’s growth has been supported by the industry association European Aluminium. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, European Aluminium launched a micro-site, magazine and academic paper charting the development of the aluminium industry in Europe and the extraordinary rise of aluminium as a key enabler of a more sustainable society.

Since the birth of European Aluminium in 1981, the association has played an important role in defending the business interests of our members throughout political and economic upheavals. We have also profiled the industry as a proactive actor in many policy areas, including trade, sustainability, energy and climate. I am thrilled to work for an association with such an illustrious history and a strong membership, which is growing year on year. This year alone, five new members joined us, so clearly companies see the value of joining an industry association and combining forces to optimise our metal’s contribution to a more sustainable society. Our members are the reason for our success, and we are proud to serve each of them, ” says Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium.

European Aluminium initially only represented a limited number of primary aluminum producers. Producers of semi- finished and wrought products joined a few years later, followed by recycling companies in 2013. Today, European Aluminium represents the entire value chain from primary production to recycling and counts over 85 companies and national associations amongst its members, totalling more than 600 plants across Europe (EU, UK, EFTA and Turkey) and 1 million (direct+in-direct) European jobs.

European Aluminium’s role is to promote aluminium as a sustainable material, ideally positioned for the Circular Economy as part of the European Green Deal and working with European legislators to help level the playing field. Thanks to aluminium’s unique permanent properties, the demand for our metal has never been greater. But with the growing demand and our key role in realising Europe’s sustainability ambitions also comes a new need to speak with a single voice in critical policy dossiers such as the EU’s Fit for 55 package and trade defence against unfair competition,” stressed Ingrid Jörg, Chair of European Aluminium.

The micro-site, magazine and academic paper were realised with the support of European Aluminium’s members, the Institute for the History of Aluminium (IHA) and Professor Marco Bertilorenzi (Associate Professor in Economic History

- Università di Padova), who carried out extensive archival research and background interviews with key industry players.



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