Audi's Advance in Responsibly Sourcing Aluminum Parts
Since its discovery in 1825, aluminum has served humanity many uses, from building infrastructure to cooking.
One of the best ways to use aluminum that we've found is in our cars. Car manufacturers worldwide use this widespread and durable metal for many different car parts, including Audi.
Yet, as we know, manufacturing aluminum parts has never been a sustainable or eco-friendly business; until now. Audi has become the first car manufacturer and OEM part distributor to be awarded the ASI (Aluminum Stewardship Initiative) and CoC (Chain of Custody) certification.
Here are a few ways Audi is making their mark by responsibly sourcing aluminum parts; without leaving a huge carbon footprint.
Sustainability in the Auto Industry
"Sustainability in the auto industry" sounds like one big oxymoron. But Audi is changing that.
Car manufacturers use steel to create most of their car parts, something that hasn't changed much since the invention of the automobile. However, the problem with steel is that it weighs a lot and leaves a big environmental mess behind it.
The cost and amount of fossil fuels burned to extract metal from the earth is unsustainable. Not to mention the weight that steel adds to a car's body, making its fuel efficiency even worse (which also means worse for your wallet and the environment).
Meanwhile, aluminum is lighter and more eco-friendly when approved by the ASI. Like lumber or ice cream, the way it's sourced matters when awarding it a sustainability certification. For brands dealing in aluminum, the ASI is their ticket to eco-consciousness.
Without this stamp of approval, aluminum could be extracted in ways that further damage our planet. They also monitor human rights, and the social implications for every party the aluminum comes in contact with.
What is the ASI and CoC Certification?
The ASI or the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative is an international standardization board. They aim to hold aluminum-dependent industries responsible for proper stewardship of the element.
Audi holds both a standard ASI certification as well as the CoC certification for aluminum sourcing. The Chain of Custody certification ensures that the chain of custody follows strict guidelines from beginning to end.
This means that all the new Audi cars and Audi aluminum OEM parts are 100% ASI certified. As long as it's an Audi brand, you're purchasing aluminum that has been part of a responsible sourcing initiative. The ASI and Audi are looking to change the metal mining industry for the better.
So Where Does Audi Source Aluminum?
The process needed to create aluminum is a lengthy and energy-inefficient process. The aluminum ore must be extracted from a rock (bauxite) and processed into what we know as aluminum ore. From there, it's purified and turned into sheet metal for use in various industries.
The process can destroy the environments it's mined in and release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. However, Audi has cut down on this exponentially.
How is Audi Using Aluminum?
Audi's aluminum is used for creating all types of parts for their cars. Yet, they're newly renowned as one of the leading aluminum body manufacturers. These aluminum bodies are popular for their lightweight yet uncompromising safety features.
To minimize emissions, Audi has even implemented a closed-loop recycling system in 2 of their plants, with more on the way. The recycling system allows Audi to make parts out of large aluminum sheets in press shops and then send the scraps to the sheet metal supplier. From there, they can recycle the scraps and reuse the aluminum for more parts.
This eliminates the need for sourcing more primary aluminum, which eventually limits their impact on the planet!
Carbon-Neutral Sites Are in Sight
Audi isn't looking to stop there when it comes to sustainability either. By 2050 they're aiming to become a carbon-neutral company. The term carbon-neutral implies that they will remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as they expel.
This can mean a lot for the environment, climate change, and sustainability, especially if other car manufacturers follow in their footsteps! However, a couple of Audi's plants are already carbon-neutral, with more on the way in coming years.
In order to achieve this massive goal, Audi put together a strategic plan in the form of 4 principles. The first and most important aspect of this plan is to continually increase energy efficiency. Of course, they'll not only do this through the creation of more hybrid and electric cars but also the manufacturing and production chain.
They also claim to want to convert the technology used at their manufacturing plants to run on renewable energy. They've already begun on this, as multiple plants are already running on renewable energy as a main source of power. Audi has also publicly claimed to start buying energy from renewable suppliers and offset CO2 emissions that can't be eliminated.
To meet the carbon-neutral standard, they have a lot of work to do. Most of it will be coming from sustainable sourcing and manufacturing of their materials. By already having an ASI and CoC certification, you can bet they're on the right track, though.
Sustainable Aluminum Parts
Responsible manufacturing in the automotive industry seemed like a far off goal. Yet, with these latest advancements in Audi's OEM sourcing of cars and aluminum parts, they've made strides in the right direction.
If you're in need of Audi's OEM aluminum parts, take a look at our website for the product you need. We offer parts for Audi and other luxury and race brands. Comb through our huge selection of inventory to find the part you're looking for!
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