The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK (

Trefis

) --

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

has increased its focus on sustainability.

The company's announcement to invest $21 million in expanding B&C Research -- a part of Alcoa's Wheel and Transportation Products business - represents its latest pro-environment expansion plan. Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina and its "green" commitment will help it stand out vs. competitors like Rusal,

Rio Tinto

(RIO) - Get Report

,

BHP Billiton

(BHP) - Get Report

and

Chalco

(ACH) - Get Report

.

Our

price estimate

for Alcoa is $19.54, roughly 10% above the stock's market price.

Sustainability Key Alcoa's Growth Strategy

Earlier this year, Alcoa entered a

partnership

with Condexis and CO2 Solutions to develop carbon capture technology for commercial uses -- a move that could lower input costs for the company in the long run while reducing emission levels.

The recently announced investment in B&C Research is directed towards substantially improving the recycling and casting process currently employed to make aluminum billets for wheels. The upgrade is expected to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while improving the overall manufacturing process.

Alcoa's aluminum wheels reduce the overall weight of a vehicle and in turn improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The soon-to-be-implemented process will reduce the manufacturing energy requirements for Alcoa by as much as 25%, while lowering the company's carbon footprint. This will clearly help reduce manufacturing costs for its Wheels and Transportation products business.

The company reports the performance of this business under its Engineered Products division. This upgrade will help improve margins for this division in the long run.

You can understand the impact of an improvement in the EBITDA margins of Alcoa's engineered products division on the company's stock by making changes to the chart above.

See our full analysis for Alcoa

here.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.