Miners are considering new ways to make the dirt they dig up green.
Across the U.S. border in Quebec, a research facility will fine-tune a technology that its owners—Alcoa Corp. and Rio Tinto PLC—believe could turn aluminum smelters carbon-free for the first time. Another initiative under way in Sweden could see hydrogen replace coking coal in manufacturing steel.
Miners have long seen investing in technology as a way to bring costs down and protect profits during swings in the global economy. But a new force for change has recently emerged: customers such as Apple Inc. and Audi AG that see a marketing advantage in ensuring their products are cleaner and greener than before.
Nestlé SA’s coffee brand Nespresso, for example, wants to source all the aluminum for its capsules from sustainably managed operations by 2020, which includes strict limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. Continue Reading →