Skip to main content

Climate action FAQ

Elkem's business approach strategy places a high priority on sustainability. Throughout our journey towards a cleaner future, we owe it to our customers to be as transparent as possible and communicate all activities related to sustainability with honesty and clarity. On this page about Elkem’s climate actions, you will find the most frequently asked question we receive from our customers about greenhouse gas emissions, third party certifications, energy use and more.

Does Elkem measure its CO2 emissions level?

Yes, Elkem measures its CO2 emissions at both group and site levels. Elkem's total scope 1 emissions were 2.52 million tonnes in 2021. Elkem's scope 2 emissions in 2021 was 901 000 tonnes, down 0.5% from 2020. Elkem's Scope 3 emissions were 8.35 million tonnes in 2021.






% change 2020 - 2021

Direct - Scope 1 emissions

Mill tonnes




Up 5.5%

Indirect, electricity use - Scope 2 emissions, location based

Mill tonnes




Down 0.5%

Indirect, electricity use - Scope 2 emissions, market based

Mill tonnes




Up 3%

Indirect, other emissions - Scope 3 emissions

Mill tonnes




Up 19%

Bioshare, Norway





Up 1%

Bioshare, global





Up 3%


For more information, please see our Annual Report 2021

What methodology is used by Elkem to measure CO2 emissions?

Elkem reports the company’s emissions according to the GHG Protocol. 1,76 million tonnes of the direct CO2 -emissions from our production comes from the smelting process, where carbon (C) reacts with oxygen in quartz to produce silicon/ferrosilicon. As this cannot be measured directly, emissions are calculated based on third party certificates of carbon content (TC) in raw materials (coke and coal). CO₂ numbers from other sources, including heating and fuel, are based on standard conversion factors in accordance with the EU Emissions Trading Systems (EU ETS) Guidelines. The electricity emission factors used in the calculation are provided by CEMAsys, a specialised consultancy firm, and are based on national gross electricity production mixes from the International Energy Agency’s statistics developed for 2020.

Is Elkem's reporting subjected to an independent third-party assessment and verification?

The total Scope 1-3 emissions was verified by the PWC for the period 1 January 2021 - 31 December 2021. Elkem performs Life Cycle Analyses in cooperation with external partner Norsus. The carbon footprints are assessed in accordance with ISO 14040, ISO 14044 and EN15804. Allocation between products has hence been minimised through detailing sub-processes. Where allocation has been unavoidable, the environmental burden has been distributed according to parameters viewed as fair and as incentivizing carbon footprint reductions.

What is the date of the last verification?

The last verification done by PwC is from 11 March 2022.

Is Elkem transparent about its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions?

Elkem always strives for transparency when it comes to its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2 ) are inherent to the process of the silicon, ferrosilicon, and silicones production. We acknowledge that our climate work is a continuous process. Elkem is well aware that the company must reduce the CO2 emissions in line with the expectations in the Paris agreement, at the same time as we aim to contribute positively by providing solutions to the green transition.

Are Elkem's direct and indirect CO2 emissions (scope 1 and 2) made public?

Yes, Elkem's CO2 emissions are made public and always available online. Our latest data can be found in our 2021 Annual Report.

Does Elkem calculate the CO2 emissions of its value chain (scope 3)?

Yes, Elkem does calculate its value chain CO2 emissions. For the last few years, Elkem has mapped the scope 3 emissions of the company, emissions defined by the GHG protocol as all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including upstream and downstream emissions. This work was an essential part of the climate strategy work. For 2021, we expanded our reporting to include scope 3 emissions to ensure we captured the largest indirect sources of GHG emissions in our value chain. The two largest categories identified are “purchased goods and services” and “end of life treatment”. Scope 3 emissions were 8.35 million tonnes in 2021.

In the last few years, did Elkem declare its CO2 emissions to any third-party non-profits?

Sustainability reporting in Elkem is based on a materiality analysis with internal and external stakeholders. CO₂ emissions and mitigation efforts are seen as material.

Elkem reports on sustainability in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiatives’ (GRI) Standards: Core option.

Elkem declares our CO₂ emissions along with governance, risk management and strategy annually to the CDP, receiving an A- in 2021.

Elkem supports the efforts of standardising climate change mitigation reporting, particularly made by the TCFD and issued the first report in 2021: elkem-tcfd-report-2021.pdf

Does Elkem communicate its CO2 emissions to third-party sustainability ratings organisations?

Yes, Elkem communicates its CO2 emissions to  Ecovadis, UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Ínitiative (GRI). Elkem was rated in top 1% companies worldwide on sustainability by Ecovadis in 2022.

How much renewable energy does Elkem use from its total energy consumption?

In 2021, about 84% of Elkem's electricity was produced from renewable sources.

What types of energy are used by Elkem? Which proportion (%)?

Hydropower is valued as an alternative way to produce electricity at Elkem, causing less environmental damage than more traditional ways such as coal power plants. The organisation signed a partnership in 2020 with fossil-free electricity producer Vattenfall, who owns over 100 hydropower plants. We have since expanded to other hydropower producers, including Canada, Iceland, Malaysia & Paraguay. For example, Elkem Silicon products’ furnace in Paraguay runs solely on hydroelectric power from the Itaipu powerplant (on top of using biocarbon as a sole reductant), making its operations' CO₂ emission close to neutral. The Itaipu Dam is located on the Paranà River and its hydroelectric power plant created the second most electricity globally in 2020. Today, about 84% of Elkem’s total gross electricity consumption is based on hydropower.

Does Elkem own any energy recovery plants?

Yes, Elkem was an industrial pioneer in the utilisation of waste heat, with the first energy recovery system on a silicon smelting furnace being installed already in the 1970s. Elkem has a long-term strategy to increase energy recovery year on year as part of its climate programme. Most of Elkem's major production sites have production processes that generate surplus heat with high enough temperatures to be recovered. The latest addition came online at the Elkem Salten plant in 2021 increasing the total recovery capacity with 270 GWh annually of electrical energy, equal to the consumption of more than 15 000 Norwegian households.

How much energy is recovered through those plants?

Globally, a total of 909 GWh heat and electricity was recovered from our plants in 2021, equal to about 56 000 Norwegian households’ annual electricity consumption. This represents 14% of total energy consumption, an increase from 11% in 2020. 

Has Elkem been certified ISO 50001?

As all plants shall have energy management systems, there is no corporate requirement of ISO 50001 certification. Nonetheless, four sites were certified in 2020. With an increased attention to energy use, Elkem is in the process of initiating ISO 50001 certification requirements for plants with high energy consumption.

What is a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)?

A life cycle analysis (LCA) is an analysis of the impact that an object has on the environment around it throughout its lifespan. Many environmental impacts can be looked at when performing a life cycle analysis, such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water consumption, acidification, ozone layer depletion, to name a few. The steps to conduct the LCA of a product are the following: firstly, defining the goal and scope of the product; followed by the inventory analysis, impact assessment, and, finally, the interpretation of the data.

Does Elkem calculate the LCA's of its products?

Yes, Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) are being performed by Elkem to quantify the environmental impact of our products. LCAs support us in reducing our environmental footprint even further by providing an accurate overview of the environmental impact of our operations. Furthermore, these assessments increase product transparency to assist our customers in their sustainability transformation. In 2021, Elkem conducted assessments of the environmental impact of several products produced at some of the major plants. These assessments have been undertaken from cradle to gate, i.e. covering the manufacturing process of raw materials until the products reach our plant's gates, with the assistance of a third party.

Elkem Silicon Products completed LCAs are available upon request. Elkem Silicon Products will continue to perform LCAs on major product groups in 2022. Elkem drafts content with due care and is constantly improving the LCA quality and methodology.

What is the Circular Economy and how does Elkem implement it in its strategy?

The circular economy is an economic model that aims at generating sustainable and local activities and employment. The circular economy is built in opposition to the traditional model present in consumer society: extract, manufacture, consume, dispose. Enabling more circular economies are one of three pillars in the Elkem climate roadmap. Through close partnerships with customers and research, Elkem’s goal is to standardise a 3R approach towards circularity, based on reuse, reduce, and recycle.

Which measures does Elkem intend to take to reduce its products' carbon footprint/ What are the next steps for Elkem's journey towards sustainability?

Elkem’s journey towards sustainability is an ongoing project in which the goal is to develop more sustainable production processes and lower of the company's carbon footprint through use of renewable sources, energy recovery and reduction of waste. In addition, Elkem’s strategy is to develop specialised products and services that can be key enablers in the green transition. Some key points of our strategy include the increase of energy recovery year on year, energy intensity improvements on main products and improved energy efficiency in facilities and equipment.

Does Elkem have a specific climate target and deadline?

Yes, Elkem provides and will continue to provide concrete data concerning our environmental impact. By 2031, we will:

→ Reduce absolute emissions* by 28% - baseline 2020

→ Delivering 39% improvement in product footprint**

 → Increase the renewable, biocarbon share to 50%

→ By 2050: Achieve full carbon-neutral production (zero fossil emissions) globally  A more detailed version can be found here [climate roadmap: PowerPoint Presentation (]

Does Elkem assess and report on climate risk?

To manage climate change, it is important to understand the company's climate risk. Elkem has implemented the climate risk framework Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in 2021, and published the first report in December 2021. In the report, you can read how Elkem works on governance, strategy, risk management and monitors targets and metrics. You can find Elkem's TCFD reports and ESG reports here.

Community involvement and dialogue

Our stakeholder dialogue is based on respect for individuals, society, and the environment. Maintaining contact with the various stakeholders helps Elkem understand the role we play in local communities and society at large, as well as building long term, mutual trust.

Contact us

Take your business to the next level by partnering-up with a global leading material manufacturer.