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Aluminum Can Come Back Greener and Stronger

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Aluminum Can Come Back Greener and Stronger

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The aluminum industry can only thrive if leaders take note of three important trends. 

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Visionary


If you work in the aluminum industry, you probably know it’s seen a decade of stagnation due to circumstances mostly beyond the industry’s control. There is, however, one factor that’s firmly under the control of aluminum companies, and that’s the push for lowered emissions and a greener industry altogether. Consumers are clamoring for greener products, and with carbon taxation on the horizon, the companies that win the next stage will be green. This special report from the Boston Consulting Group offers tips to help aluminum companies keep up with consumer, investor and government appetite for greener production and manufacturing. 


Aluminum industry demand and production are up, but prices, profitability and shareholder returns are down.

The transportation industry needs aluminum, and it’s a popular material in the consumer durables market. Global demand gave rise to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5%. Demand is particularly high in China, which consumes about 57% of the world’s aluminum. In the rest of the world, CAGR grew by 5.1%; in China, it grew by 8.2%. Still, aluminum prices have stagnated for over a decade, never climbing higher than their pre-2008 levels. Why hasn’t demand steered the industry to higher prices, greater shareholder returns and better profitability? 

The stagnation is attributable in part to Chinese producers, who lowered costs and managed to increase their share of the market from 37% in 2009 to 57% in 2019. As a result, TSRs (total shareholder ...

About the Authors

Øyvind Berle, Abhishek Bhatia, Janice Lee, Simon-Pierre Monette, Karthik Valluru and Konrad von Szczepanski are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group.

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