NEW MEMORANDUM: Understanding and Addressing the Barriers for Aluminum Companies to Set Science-Based Targets


The aluminum sector has an important role to play in the transition to a net-zero economy. Yet, companies in the sector face a number of challenges in setting science-based targets (SBTs).

In 2019, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) launched a project to lay a foundation for the development of tools and guidance to enable aluminum sector companies to set SBTs. World Resources Institute (WRI) is the managing SBTi partner, working in collaboration with the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) and Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) to engage sector experts to identify the challenges and opportunities to setting and achieving SBTs and options for next-generation resources.

Financial support for this project is generously provided by the Alcoa Foundation.


The first phase of this project is focused on identifying challenges for aluminum sector companies to apply the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach (SDA) and possible alternatives to the IEA pathway, and recommending specific tools and guidance for aluminum sector companies to set SBTs. 

Development Process

Highlights of the project development process to date: 

  • January 2020: Published a memorandum, Understanding and Addressing the Barriers for Aluminum Companies to Set Science-Based Targets, which provides a detailed discussion of the existing and perceived barriers for the aluminum sector to set SBTs, and next steps for how leaders in the sector can improve existing data and low-carbon scenarios for the aluminum industry.
  • September 2019: In collaboration with the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative, on September 27, WRI hosted a workshop in Cambridge, UK to explore share and gather feedback on a revised GHG reduction pathway for the aluminum sector, discuss how to apply this revised pathway to the ASI carbon standard and other benchmarks, and explore how the sector can collaborate to drive emissions reductions in line with the new pathway.
  • March 2019: Hosted a workshop at the TMS 2019 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. 
  • January 2019: The project was launched with an online webinar. Watch a recording.



John Sottong, Senior Associate, WRI, [email protected]