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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Development of a Certification Scheme for the Aluminium Industry

Anastasia Kazakova (now Archer)

Development of a Certification Scheme for the Aluminium Industry

Increasing consumption rates putting pressure on natural resources have led to the subsequent introduction of several certification schemes aiming to mitigate the impacts of various products throughout the commodity chain. They include: the Forestry Stewardship Council, controlling sourcing of timber from sustainably managed forests, the Fair Trade, offering ‘better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers’ (Fair Trade Website) among others.

In the last 25 years there has been a substantial growth in demand for aluminium fuelled by the rapid development of third world countries and ‘economies in transition’. However, aluminium production has led to significant social and environmental impacts generating community and governmental concerns.

A combination of sustainability performance improvements brought by other certification schemes and the need to manage sustainability impacts currently imposed by the aluminium industry provides a motivation for this dissertation.

A review of modern certification schemes, an analysis of aluminium industry market drivers followed by the ‘Gap Analysis’ of existing sustainability guidelines is used as a basis for the development of indicators and implementation and governance mechanism of the certification scheme for the aluminium industry. The attempt to adapt indicators to the facilities located in countries with different geographical, socio-cultural and economic conditions is carried out by means of a case studies method. The feedback received from the aluminium industry stakeholders increases validity of the proposed indicators and the certification scheme’s functioning.

The report discusses the urgency and importance of the certification scheme for the aluminium industry and summarizes a number of benefits which the industry may obtain from launching the project in reality, such as improvement of producers’ credibility, avoidance of top-down regulation, gaining trust of stakeholders and differentiation of aluminium products at the market place among others.



Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.