A greener, healthier and more sustainable future relies on the use of copper. Much of ICA’s work advances the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a 15-year framework for addressing mankind’s most critical issues. ICA’s initiatives align with all 17 of the SDGs, and 3 of these SDGs closely match ICA’s focus: Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Climate Action.
AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY: Products containing copper tend to operate more efficiently because copper is the best nonprecious conductor of heat and electricity. By globally adopting Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) in industrial equipment and residential appliances, $350 billion in economic activity could be created through reduced energy costs, and worldwide electricity consumption could be reduced by 10 percent.
Renewable sources provide nearly one-quarter of the world’s power, and copper plays an important role in making it as efficient as possible, with minimal impact on the environment. Copper use helps reduce CO2 emissions and lowers the amount of energy needed to produce electricity.
CLIMATE ACTION: On average, less than 5 tonnes of CO2 are emitted to produce one tonne of copper. However, because of copper’s inherent high efficiency in conductive applications, between 100 and 7,500 tons of CO2 emissions can be reduced—a mitigation factor of up to 1,500 to 1. By 2030, copper could reduce the world’s carbon footprint by 16%.
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES. Copper’s superior properties make it critical to new automotive technologies: a conventional car has up to 33 kg of copper, a hybrid-electric has up to twice that amount (40 – 65 kg), and a full-electric vehicle averages nearly 3 times more copper (94 kg). ICA pioneered a new technology, the Copper Rotor Induction Motor, which allows the manufacturers of EVs—as well as other users of motors—to achieve the highest possible efficiency in their vehicles’ motors.
Copper-coiled air conditioning units improve indoor air quality. The wet and humid environments in air conditioning units are perfect places for mold to grow. Copper-coiled units are virtually mold-free—even after years of use.
For more information on how the International Copper Association, its members and the copper industry support the UN’s SDGs and to learn more about copper’s other sustainable-development benefits, visit sustianablecopper.org.