Energy is a critical resource for Alcoa due to the energy-intensive nature of our refining and smelting processes.
Securing low-cost and competitively priced energy with minimal environmental impact is a focal point of our long-term energy strategy. We also work to reduce the amount of energy we consume through operational efficiency and technological advances, which lower our costs and GHG emissions.
We have defined short- and long-term energy reduction targets for all of our operations that are integrated in our overall GHG emissions reduction target. These targets will be realized through process and energy-efficiency performance and our long-term portfolio strategy.
As part of our commitment to climate protection, we have criteria to evaluate energy consumption and sources of energy as part of our process to consider any potential new projects or major expansions. This allows us to maintain a cohesive portfolio of operations aligned with our long-term goals.
We also consider carbon-related impacts in our capital expenditure process when developing the business case for the financial model used in capital allocation decision-making. Projects that impact carbon emissions (positively or negatively) are considered throughout the approval process and project development.
Our energy intensity decreased by 0.4 percent in 2021 compared to the prior year. Our overall energy consumption also decreased by 7.1 million gigajoules, or 2.1 percent, in the same period. Key factors behind the performance are fully started Bécancour smelter in Canada, and the curtailment of the Intalco smelter in the United States.