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This year, several regions in the world faced energy crises that significantly impacted the aluminum industry. Decreased production capacity in China resulted in lower supply and consequent changes in market dynamics. On the other hand, the search for lighter and more sustainable materials caused an increase in demand. This dynamic raised aluminum prices, offsetting the general increase in the price of energy, one of the main production inputs.
As an energy self-sufficient, integrated company (operating in bauxite mining, production of primary and transformed aluminum, and recycling activities), CBA was able to mitigate the cost increases during the year. Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange ended the year at US$2,806.00 per tonne, with an annual average of US$2,480.00 per tonne. As a result, the company’s net revenue was R$8.4 billion in 2021, a 56% increase compared with the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA was R$1.7 billion, 221% higher than in 2020.
CBA’s growth strategy, which includes increasing its energy efficiency and advancing its sustainability agenda, will require important investments in the coming years. To finance this strategy in a sustainable manner, the company held its IPO on B3 in July and entered the Novo Mercado segment, which includes corporations that are committed to the highest standards of corporate governance. The operation raised R$1.6 billion, of which R$700.0 million will be invested in organic growth and potential strategic acquisitions in the coming years. The fact that sustainability is at the core of CBA’s strategy was a determining factor for the success of the IPO.
CBA’s 2030 ESG strategy is based on 10 priority topics: four environmental, two social, three in the area of governance, and one crosscutting topic that affects all business areas: ESG communication. The company has 15 programs planned, with objectives to be achieved by 2030, broken down into corporate ESG targets linked to the variable compensation of employees at all levels. With the goal of ensuring the supply of low-carbon aluminum and offering sustainable solutions, CBA also develops the communities where it operates and positively influences the entire aluminum value chain.
In line with its strategy of expanding its participation in the recycling business, CBA invested to increase the scrap processing capacity at Metalex and acquired 80% of the shares of Alux, one of the main suppliers of secondary aluminum in Brazil. This acquisition will allow CBA to grow its share in this market segment in addition to increasing its recycled aluminum production capacity.
The company advanced the CBA 4.0 program (which aims to incorporate digitalization into the organizational culture to optimize processes), launched its innovation manifesto, and hosted Innovation Week (which promoted this topic and invited all teams to innovate in their daily work).
Power generation from renewable sources has always been part of CBA’s self-sufficiency strategy. Its portfolio includes 15 company-owned and six leased hydroelectric plants with the capacity to supply 100% of the electricity consumed in the plants. Aiming to further improve the management of energy resources and reinforce its position as a self-producer of energy, CBA announced the creation of a specific business unit to manage energy assets starting in 2022. The company announced the acquisition of a stake in wind energy self-production assets, which are part of the Ventos do Piauí I and II Complexes, with 171.6 MW of installed capacity. Starting in 2023, the energy will be used by CBA’s plants in the towns of Itapissuma and Alumínio. The total investment planned by the company for the diversification of its energy matrix through renewable energy projects is R$190 million.
To improve its ESG practices, CBA submitted its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which encourages companies to set science-based climate targets and became a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In addition, it remained in the CDP’s (Carbon Disclosure Project) Climate Change A list with a score of A-, and received an A in the MSCI ESG rating.
Another achievement related to its sustainable performance was the expansion of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) international certification of the company Metalex, a subsidiary of CBA, in the Performance standard, and of the Itapissuma unit, in the Chain of Custody standard. ASI is a non-profit organization that recommends global sustainability practices for the aluminum industry. CBA’s goal is to have 100% of the aluminum units certified by 2030.
To contribute to its value chain, the company kicked off the Sustainable Procurement program, a formal process that seeks not only to raise awareness of suppliers and customers on sustainability, but also to build the entire procurement process around ESG criteria, including the selection, approval, contracting, and development of business partners.
In addition, the company made progress with regard to its diversity targets. It created affinity groups that meet monthly to identify opportunities and facilitate dialogue with minorities. It also expanded the training program for women in the industry and trained 253 women during the year. These activities are conducted by the Diversity Committee, which also advocated for the hiring of women, who represent 14.3% of the workforce (3% more than in 2020).