“5 things you can do about climate change” – CNN, 6 May 2014

We here at Phinix are huge proponents of doing what you can at home to prevent any further impacts of climate change. The disastrous effects of global warming are stacking up, leading to higher temperatures and rising sea levels. More flooding, wildfires, and droughts are to be expected. Here are five things you can do to lend a helping hand to the environment.

Become Informed

Staying informed about what policy makers are doing and saying is paramount. If you stay educated on climate change, then you can make knowledgeable decisions when voting and electing politicians into office. It also wouldn’t hurt to know what the policy makers are discussing:

  • Lowering carbon dioxide levels—for example, establishing carbon taxes and carbon caps;
  • Changing the Earth’s response to the effects of climate change—for example, building seawalls to combat the rising sea levels; and
  • Adapting the Earth to counteract climate change—for example, changing our oceans to absorb more CO2.

Make Changes at Home

The EPA suggests you do the following to curb your greenhouse gas emissions, which will also save you money:

  • Change your five most-used light bulbs to products that have the EPA’s Energy Star label;
  • Heat and cool more efficiently, such as by using a programmable thermostat, changing air filters, and replacing old equipment with Energy Star products;
  • Seal and insulate your home;
  • Make use of recycling programs, and compost food and yard waste;
  • Reduce water waste;
  • Use green power, such as solar panels; and
  • Estimate how much greenhouse gas you emit with the EPA’s calculator.

Be Greener at the Office

You can also help out at the office. Here’s how:

  • Set computers and other office equipment to power down during periods when you’re not using them;
  • Use Energy Star equipment; and
  • Recycle and reuse whenever possible.

Reduce Emissions in Transit

You can reduce your emissions both in your daily and cross-country commutes:

  • Rely on public transportation, biking, walking, carpooling, or telecommuting instead of driving;
  • Use the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide to help you make an informed choice about buying a car;
  • While driving, try to avoid hard accelerations, don’t spend more than 30 seconds idling, and go easy on the gas pedal and brakes; and
  • Make sure to regularly check your tire pressure.

When you’re traveling by plane, try these tricks:

  • Consider packing lighter because less fuel is consumed with less weight on the plane;
  • Fly during the day because night flights have a bigger impact on the climate; and
  • Buy carbon credits to compensate for the emissions on your flight.

Get Involved and Educate Others About the Bigger Picture

Though one person’s efforts might only have a small influence, involving and educating others will allow our impact to grow. Together, we can help to prevent any further damaging effects of climate change.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

May 13, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2014. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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Novelis Sustainability Report 2013

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.

Take a look at Novelis’ website and the full report.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

January 28, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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“Aluminum Can Continues Leadership in Sustainable Packaging as Most Recycled Beverage Container” – PR Newsire, 24 October 2013

The aluminum industry hopes that our recycling rate will reach 75% by 2015, and we are well on our way. According to a report by the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the rate of recycling for used beverage cans (UBCs) in the US continued to increase in 2012 to 67%, the highest recycling rate since the 1990s and the second highest since 1972.

According to the report, in 2012, the aluminum can industry was able to recycle almost 62 billion domestic and imported cans, and ship 92 billion cans across the US. This also means the US saved energy, equivalent to 19 million barrels of crude oil, enough gas to run 1.7 millions cars for one year. UBCs are great for both the economy and environment because they can be recycled a limitless number of times — a UBC can be back in the store in as few as 60 days.

Our recycling success can be attributed to the importation of cans to the US, from countries like Mexico, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Poland, etc. —  importing cans helps us to bulk up our recycling stream. A lot of money can be made from recycling UBC; it’s become a very attractive enterprise for recycling companies.

Recycling aluminum uses far less energy — 5% — than creating primary aluminum. Still, thousands of cans, amounting to $900 million, are wasted by going to the landfill, affecting our economic and environmental prosperity. The aluminum industry promotes recycling by supporting the Curbside Value Partnership, which helps to bolster participation in curbside recycling programs in the US.

A lot of work has already been done to achieve this 68% recycling rate , more dedicated work  still needs to be done to achieve the self-imposed goal of 75% recycling rate and still lot more to be done to achieve  world champion on Brazil’s  rate of 98%.

A lot of hard work is still to come, and with a lot more rewards — economic, environmental and most importantly, a favorable public opinion. We should be looking for sustainable packaging among the many alternatives.

Useful Related Links:
Phinix Blog
Brazil Remains Aluminum Can Recycling Champion
Aluminium Circle
Brazil remains leader in aluminum can recycling
Novelis hopes to raise US recycling rates with its ‘evercan’ Project

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

November 11, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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Nalini S. Mahadevan Joins Phinix as General Counsel

10119450831161CDPNalini S. Mahadevan has been appointed as General Counsel for Phinix, LLC. Ms. Mahadevan earned her JD from the St. Louis University School of Law and MBA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. She was a partner at Lowenbaum Partnership and a founding partner at Mahadevan Law Office, LLC, both in St. Louis. She has over 10 years of experience in federal law. She is also an Adjunct Professor at St. Louis University School of Law.

Ms. Mahadevan will provide contract and legal services for Phinix including its newest project, “Electrochemical Extraction of High Quality Magnesium from Scrap”, which was recently funded by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). This new project will research and develop an electrochemical process to extract high-quality magnesium from scrap metal for reuse in manufacturing.

Phinix, LLC provides product, process and recycling research, development and consulting services for light metals (Aluminum, Magnesium and Titanium) and energy and carbon management.

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