Novelis Inc. increased the use of high-recycled aluminum content
inputs in FY17 from 53% to 55% year-over-year – two years ahead of target – one of its key sustainability targets. Novelis detailed its continued progress toward its sustainability commitments and goals in a new sustainability report for 2017. The sustainable gains achieved by the company are a result of increased operational efficiencies and technical innovation throughout the company’s 24 facilities around the world.
“From operations within our company to how we partner with our stakeholders, safety and sustainability continue to be core to our business,” said Steve Fisher, president and chief executive officer, Novelis. “We have made great gains in this fiscal year and are ahead of target in some areas. Additionally, we remain resolute in our commitment to leverage our technical expertise and innovative capabilities to solve challenges at our facilities and promote sustainability throughout the manufacturing industry.”
Given the infinitely-recyclable properties of aluminum, recycling aluminum produces 95 percent fewer GHG emissions and requires 95 percent less energy than primary aluminum production. These properties enable Novelis to achieve lower GHG emissions and drive sustainable value across its business segments of beverage can, automotive and high-end specialties.
In the beverage can industry, reported that aluminum cans are gaining market share in the beer industry in North America. According to the U.S. Aluminum Association, only one craft brewer in North America was using aluminum cans in 2002 , whereas more than 500 breweries are now producing 2,000 varieties of beer in cans. The increased use of cans provides an opportunity for increased recycling, and Novelis recycles approximately 65 billion used beverage cans (UBCs) a year, returning them as cans to store shelves in approximately 60 days. However, the U.S. has shown a near ten percent decline in recycling rates over the past two years. Therefore, Novelis is working with organizations like The Recycling Partnership, a U.S. nonprofit focused on improving residential recycling, to address challenges in the UBC recycling industry.
In the automotive space, Novelis provides closed-loop programs that help OEMs achieve their sustainability goals through scrap metal collection and recycling. For example, Novelis partnered with Ford Motor Company to develop the world’s largest closed-loop recycling system for the F-Series, the OEM’s most popular lineup of aluminum intensive trucks. As a result, 90% of Ford’s scrap was collected and recycled – enough to produce an additional 30,000 F-150 truck bodies per month.
In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Novelis reclaimed 50,000 tons of aluminum scrap, which is equivalent to 200,000 Jaguar XE body shells – preventing 500,000 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Also in FY17, Novelis reached an agreement to provide innovative aluminum solutions to next-generation car company, NIO, for its fleet of smart, high-performance, premium electric vehicles. The partnership marks Novelis‘ first major commitment in the premium electric vehicle space.
In addition, Novelis was honored with the inaugural Supplier Sustainability Award from Denso, a leading supplier of automotive components. The award recognizes Novelis’ strong leadership in all facets of sustainability across its operations, product lines, and communities.
Additional Sustainability Progress
In addition to increasing its recycled content, another key sustainability milestone achieved by Novelis two years ahead of target was the reduction of its water usage to the fiscal year 2020 target of 2.7 cubic meter/metric tons.
Safety remains a top priority for the company, with fiscal year 2017 representing another record low in recordable safety incidents as 11 of the company’s 24 facilities saw no recordable injuries. Process improvements and new safety measures continue to be evaluated to enable Novelis to reach its goal of zero injuries. The company also continued to curb its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the last fiscal year, reducing emissions by more than 21% from the baseline of 21 million tonnes of CO2. The waste to landfill and energy intensity rates both increased over the last year and are key areas of focus for fiscal year 2018.
The FY 2017 Novelis Sustainability Report is available as a downloadable PDF at: www.novelis.com/sustainability.