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Yamaha First to Use Green Aluminum in Japanese Motorcycles

© by CaliPhotography (Jen Dunstan does laps on her Yamaha R6 at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway)

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. reached an agreement with an aluminum ingot supplier for the procurement of green aluminum, which enabled the company to begin using the metal as a raw material for parts in Yamaha motorcycles in February 2023. This is the first time that green aluminum will be used in Japanese motorcycles and the company plans to gradually expand its usage in models going forward.

According to Yamaha, “green aluminum” refers to primary aluminum that is refined using renewable energy sources to emit less CO2 in its manufacture. Aluminum parts account for 12–31% of the total vehicle weight of a motorcycle, so adopting green aluminum is one effective approach for reducing CO2 emissions from the raw material manufacturing part of a product’s life cycle (this falls under GHG Protocol Scope 3 Category 1 emissions for supply chains).

Through the development of its engineering and production technologies and expertise, Yamaha Motor has actively pushed the use of recycled aluminum, which now comprises some 80% of the company’s aluminum usage. This introduction of green primary aluminum is meant to complement this and will be employed for parts that still cannot be manufactured with recycled materials.

As a first step, Yamaha Motor will utilize green aluminum for certain parts in its large-displacement and off-road competition motorcycles. The company plans to expand the number of models using the material in the future as available supply volumes allow.

Models and parts to employ green aluminum in the future (Photo: Business Wire)
Models and parts to employ green aluminum in the future (Photo: Business Wire.)

In line with the Yamaha Motor Group Environmental Plan 2050, the company aims to achieve carbon neutrality throughout all of its business activities — including its entire supply chain — by 2050. To realize this, the company has set a goal of switching to 100% sustainable materials by 2050, such as adopting more plant-derived resin materials, developing recyclable polypropylene, and adopting green materials and other recycled materials for its motorcycles manufactured in Japan and overseas.

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