In 2011, Novelis decided to strengthen their company by increasing their business’ sustainability and innovation. The most important component of their new vision is to use 80% recycled aluminum in all their products by 2020. Once they reach this goal, they will then halve their products’ embedded carbon.
In 2011, when Novelis set their intended goals, they used the average of fiscal years 2007-2009 as their standard. Some of their 2020 goals include:
- Increase recycled metal content from the current 43% to 80%
- Reduce energy usage by 39%, from the current 10 GJ/mt to 7.6
- Reduce water usage by 25%, from the current 3.1 m3/mt to 2.7
- Halve the absolute amount of GHG emissions, from the current 18 M mt to 11
- Have zero landfill waste from the current 55.6 K mt
While the company is headquartered in Atlanta, George, there are also facilities in Sao Paulo, Zurich and Seoul, serving the beverage can, automotive and high-end specialty markets. There is a rising demand for aluminum in these markets, especially the automobile industry, since 2010 when Obama obligated car manufacturers to double their new-car average fuel economy by 2025. In 2013, the aluminum industry grew 25%, as aluminum allows for lightweighting vehicles, a crucial enabler in increasing fuel efficiency.
As mentioned before, another huge element of Novelis’ move to increase sustainability is to reduce the embedded carbon in their products, which can be done by boosting recycled content. By using more recycled materials and by creating fewer new materials, Novelis reduces their carbon footprint. They’ve recently invested almost $500 million in doubling their recycling space by opening two new recycling plants, one in South Korea and the other in Germany.
Novelis is directly addressing the global issue of climate change, particularly the current concern of the maximum safe limit for concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. The company’s method to decrease their GHG emissions can best be described as a life cycle approach, with a goal of reducing their emissions by 50% by 2020. This idea, coupled with increasing their recycled metal content to 80%, will help them reach their target.
Novelis has also incorporated supporting recycling education into their new vision, as well as advocating awareness and policy initiatives, which will escalate recycling rates and increase the company’s supply of post-consumer aluminum scrap. We at Phinix are huge proponents of all of the above, especially recycling education.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
January 28, 2014
Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.