Case Study


Norsk Hydro - U.S. Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Aluminum Pilot Test

RMI collaborated with Norsk Hydro and a prominent U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer (the buyer) to pilot aluminum product-level greenhouse gas (GHG) data reporting, following RMI's Aluminum GHG Emissions Reporting Guidance (hereafter "Aluminum Guidance").

At A Glance

RMI collaborated with Norsk Hydro and a prominent U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer (the buyer) to pilot aluminum product-level greenhouse gas (GHG) data reporting, following RMI's Aluminum GHG Emissions Reporting Guidance (hereafter Aluminum Guidance).

Overall, pilot partners gained extra transparency on climate performance of tested products. They further identified RMI's Aluminum Guidance and standardized data exchange format as very helpful in use cases such as supplier and customer engagement, product design, sustainable procurement, and decarbonization strategy development. Throughout this process, the pilot tested the emissions calculation and data transfer of two extruded aluminum car parts from different production sites - a front bumper from Norsk Hydro's Hungary site and a rear bumper from its Phoenix site. Leveraging RMI recommended climate metrics, Norsk Hydro demonstrated its decarbonization efforts at the product level. Reliable and comparable product-level emissions data also improved the buyer's understanding of its upstream scope 3 emissions and informed a more specific supplier engagement plan for reduction.

" Participating in this pilot was a great experience, especially to jointly work with customers on new methods and tools to work together on how to go further on Sustainability and decarbonization. A strong benefit is that pilot and the tool could provide a harmonized methodology for carbon footprint accounting in the aluminum industry, by establishing common emission factors and disclosing results with the two main scrap modeling approaches. "

- Norsk Hydro

Targeting Industry Challenges

The U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer faces a substantial challenge in accurately understanding its upstream Scope 3 emissions so that it can make informed business decisions for emissions reduction. The lack of comprehensive climate information of products, measured reliably and comparably, was identified as a critical area where RMI's Aluminum Guidance could help. Therefore, the manufacturer invited its climate leading aluminum supplier - Norsk Hydro - to this pilot, aiming to gain additional visibility into Norsk Hydro's product climate performance and decarbonization efforts.

Our Objectives

In this pilot, RMI's Aluminum Guidance was used to:


Enable comparability of product climate performance - Allowed the buyer to compare the climate performance of the same type of aluminum product produced at different sites to gain supply chain visibility at the asset level for a tailored reduction plan.


Provide transparency on product emissions - Helped Norsk Hydro showcase its decarbonization efforts through transparent disclosures of primary aluminum emissions and further differentiation of post-consumer scrap.


Enhance data accuracy – Incentivized Norsk Hydro to use site- and supplier-specific data to achieve a higher ratio of primary data to emissions factors.


Standardize data exchange - RMI's data format was incorporated in the buyer's supplier portal to link the required data metrics to their internal business systems for streamlined responsible sourcing and emissions reporting.

Pilot enabled changes

Pilot Partner
Change Area
Prior Practice
RMI Solutions Applied in Pilot
Norsk Hydro
Data Collection
Regional/national generic emission factors
Collected supplier specific data from upstream
Calculation process
LCA software and company developed excel tools
Used RMI's free, open-source tool for consistency in calculation and factor selection
Reported metrics
An aggregated PCF and other life cycle impacts for final product
Gathered additional climate info on a product's precursor, primary aluminum, and scrap, directly showing alignment with sectoral decarbonization pathways
Data exchange
  • Pdf by email exchange
  • Manual data entry
  • Standardized JSON format incorporated in buyer's portal
  • Streamlined and automated data entry
The EV Manufacturer
Supplier data collection
Supplier survey with standard questions on supplier's scope 1-3
Considered additions on consistent boundary, post-consumer scrap, and primary data that better reflect supplier climate performance and reduction plans
Use case of product data
Scope 3 inventory and decarbonization strategy development
  • More accurate scope 3 sectoral target setting and progress tracking
  • More tailored supplier engagement plans for reduction
Exhibit 1


Exhibit 2

Additional climate metrics to PCFs showcased Norsk Hydro's efforts in sustainable sourcing and emissions transparency.

Through a variety of climate metrics beyond product carbon footprint (PCF) as required by RMI's Aluminum Guidance, Norsk Hydro was able to directly demonstrate its commitment to sourcing low-carbon primary ingots, using post-consumer scrap, and enhancing data quality. For example, the benchmarking boundary PCF and the mine-to-smelter emission intensity allowed Norsk Hydro to report in a comparable way for the two products from different sites made with different primary and scrap composition. The primary data share metric incentivized Norsk Hydro to move beyond generic data and source supplier specific data for enhanced accuracy.

Standardized emissions data exchange enabled integration and scale benefits.

Norsk Hydro shared emissions data with the buyer via RMI's Aluminum Guidance data format, an extension of the PACT Data Model. The data for the tested products was shared via the buyer's supplier portal in JSON format. This standardized approach across the buyer's suppliers simplifies the collection of product-level emissions data and lays the groundwork for automation and the incorporation of product-level emissions data into supply chain management systems, such as ERP, sourcing applications, and supplier scorecards. Compared to manually compiling and entering data, this could save time and effort by streamlining and automating the process to aggregate part-level data for complex products like automobiles.

" A significant advantage is that the pilot and the tool could establish a standardized methodology for carbon footprint accounting in the aluminum industry. "

- Norsk Hydro

Comparable and transparent climate data drove potential changes in the buyer's supplier survey for better responsible sourcing practices.

Compared to the conventional data collection for an aggregated emission intensity, RMI recommended climate metrics offer comprehensive information for evaluating a supplier's climate performance for individual assets. By integrating RMI's climate metrics into supplier engagement, sourcing proposals, and purchase agreements, the buyer can compare products from different assets and develop reduction plans tailored for suppliers or assets at different stages. In this pilot, the data informed improvements to the buyer's 2024 supplier GHG engagement, focusing on questions of consistent boundary, post-consumer scrap, and primary data that better reflect supplier climate performance and reduction plans.

Remaining Challenges

Accurately calculating scrap emissions without scrap traceability in place is a known challenge in the aluminum industry. This exercise shed light on this empirical challenge. In the pilot, it was very difficult to trace the generation and usage of scrap streams that occurred far upstream. Despite these difficulties, Norsk Hydro managed to collect scrap information and calculate emissions using best available data and regional factors. Both Norsk Hydro and the buyer deepened their understandings of this data challenge, calling for further efforts on behavior change and technology advancements to enable scrap traceability.

The Path Forward

Norsk Hydro

  • Found the pilot helpful as a customer engagement opportunity to communicate and educate customers about the carbon footprint of aluminum products.
  • Believes RMI's Aluminum Guidance can drive product design, enabling eco-design choices including post-consumer scrap usage, billet selection, and emissions-conscious production processes.
  • Expects the Aluminum Guidance to drive decarbonization strategy development. It facilitates the monitoring, benchmarking, and identification of production process enhancements, encompassing energy utilization, scrap rates, and chemical usage, which in turn drives the development of sustainability strategies focused on emissions reduction.

The electric vehicle manufacturer

  • Identified RMI's data metrics as very helpful in target setting as it enhances scope 3 emissions reporting and further facilitates the establishment of Scope 3 targets and sector specific decarbonization strategies.
  • Plans to incorporate the data metrics in supplier engagement and data collection practices to enhance sustainable procurement. The buyer's new sourcing proposal will include more accurate emissions data in relation to the associated cost, thereby promoting the procurement of low-carbon products.