Velux Group is a Danish company that produces roof windows, flat-roof windows, and accessories. Recently, the company has seen considerable growth, as more and more homeowners renovate their homes by expanding into attic or roof spaces.
With buildings accounting for almost 40% of CO2 emissions, Velux realizes that it was crucial to consider the full carbon footprint of its products. Therefore, the company put research and development time and resources into understanding the carbon content in their products.
Following this research, Velux found that more than 94% of its carbon footprint stems from materials used in its products. One area in which the company found it could improve is by using low-carbon aluminum. As a result, Velux has separately partnered with Hydro and Novelis to cut carbon emissions from its products.
“With buildings accounting for almost 40 percent of CO2 emissions, it is crucial the materials that go into them become more sustainable,” said Tina Mayn, executive vice president responsible for Products & Innovation for Velux Group. “With this move to include low-carbon aluminium in our products, we are taking a step closer to achieving the Velux Group’s most challenging sustainability target — to reduce our [GHG Protocol] scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2030.”
Partnership with Hydro
Announced in September 2022, Velux has partnered with Hydro Extrusions for the supply of low-carbon aluminum extrusions. The aim is for Velux to reach a level below 2.0 kg carbon emitted per kilogram of aluminum by 2030. This target includes the entire aluminum value chain and is based on the average of all the extruded aluminum components that Hydro delivers to Velux.
Velux will use the aluminum producer’s low-carbon aluminum in its products, including Hydro REDUXA (primary aluminum made with renewable energy, emitting 4.0 kg CO2/kg Al) and Hydro CIRCAL (containing a minimum of 75% recycling post-consumer scrap, emitting 2.3 kg CO2/kg Al). By the end of 2022, Velux expects the partnership to result in a 15,000-20,000 tonne carbon abatement for the roof window manufacturer.
“Hydro REDUXA and Hydro CIRCAL are designed to help our customers reach their sustainability goals,” said Paul Warton, executive vice president responsible for the Hydro Extrusions business area. “Consumers and end users of crucial building components like windows will become even more climate-conscious in the future. In that way, Hydro and Velux are taking responsibility throughout the entire value chain.”
As part of its work with Velux, Hydro will apply technologies defined in its technology roadmap to further progress toward zero-emission aluminum production. “By 2030, we expect to be able to deliver Hydro REDUXA with a footprint below 2 kg CO2e per kg of aluminum produced, including the entire value chain of aluminum,” said Stig Tjøtta, head of Technology, Hydro Aluminium Metals, Commercial. “We are also looking to reduce the product footprint to zero for Hydro CIRCAL by replacing natural gas with renewable energy in the form of electricity, biogas or green hydrogen for the casthouse furnaces.”
Partnership with Novelis
In November 2022, Velux announced that it has entered into a multi-year partnership agreement with Novelis. Through the agreement, Novelis will provide high-recycled-content, flat-rolled aluminum for use in Velux roof windows.
“The Novelis agreement marks our second strategic aluminum partnership this year as we accelerate actions to decarbonize our products and value chain,” said Nikolaj Cederquist, vice president, Global Procurement at Velux Group. “Our scope 3 carbon emissions are our largest and they are also the hardest for us to reduce, which is why partnerships will help us go far and faster.”
The aluminum sheet from Novelis will have a recycled content of around 70%, which represents an increase of around 30% from what Novelis currently supplies to Velux. This is expected to help Velux in reaching below 4.0 kg carbon emitted per kilogram of supplied rolled aluminum by the end of 2024. This is well below half the average carbon footprint of primary aluminum used in Europe. The partners are aiming for further carbon reductions by 2030.
“We are excited that we can help Velux achieve its ambitious carbon emission reduction goals by supplying low-carbon, sustainable aluminum solutions,” says Stephen Boney, vice president, Specialty Products at Novelis Europe. “As a leader in aluminum sustainability, Novelis recognizes that material innovation and collaboration across the value chain will enable decarbonization, support a circular economy and help us achieve our carbon neutrality goal.”
Velux Group and Novelis have also agreed to work further together to optimize carbon emission reductions in aluminum and to develop more sustainable coating systems with the aim of cultivating a more circular materials industry. The latter is a common goal that both companies are also advancing in other long-term partnerships.