Reflection Window + Wall announced an agreement Oct. 10 with India's Global Aluminum Private Ltd. and Glass Wall Systems India that will allow the company to source all of the aluminum for its architectural glass wall products using renewable and low-carbon power sources in India.
The frames, extrusions and other components of its products will use only 4 kg of carbon dioxide (kgCO2e) per 1 kg of aluminum (kgAL), a carbon dioxide savings of 75% to 85% over its current processes, the Chicago-based Reflection said in a statement.
Reflection's statement said the deal covers the entire lifecycle of the aluminum in its products, from metals mining, extruding, finishing, fabrication and customer delivery to the U.S.
An environmental product declaration provided for the aluminum sources says that 15- to 25-million lb of carbon dioxide could be reduced to 2.5 million lb total for an average tall building facade for which Reflection provides exterior glass using energy from Global Aluminum in India.
"With this agreement we are achieving massive progress to make the world a cooler place while eliminating the paradox for building developers of choosing between a healthy planet and a healthy bottom line," said Rodrigo d’Escoto, founder and CEO of Reflection. "To that end, we have achieved what no one thought possible by partnering with key allies in the largest sister democracy in the world to make these low-carbon building materials widely available in the U.S."
Jawahar Hemrajani, director of Glass Wall Systems India said in a statement that while "everyone knows that technology hasn’t advanced yet to the point where products produced through sustainable energy are truly cost neutral ... thanks to India’s strong commitment to abundant renewable solar energy we are getting closer."
With manageable sacrifices from Reflection and Global Aluminum Private, the companies are now able to close "the sustainability cost gap to zero for the U.S. consumer in architectural metals," he said.
Hemrajani and Anil Agarwal, founder and managing director of Global Aluminum, said the primary aluminum billet producers they work with in India buy renewable power from state distribution companies and power exchanges for production of the aluminum. For diversity and scalability, renewable power used in the production of the aluminum in India includes solar and some nonsolar renewable sources such as wind, small hydroelectric generation, bagasse and hybrid production processes using power from all four. Bagasse, the fibrous pulp leftover when liquid sugar is squeezed from sugarcane, can be burned as a cleaner replacement of fossil fuels in India and elsewhere.