Novelis implemented a closed-loop recycling system with Volvo Cars in 2019. Through the closed-loop system, the companies work together to take back Volvo’s production scrap. This reduces the company’s dependence on primary aluminum input, reduces the CO2 footprint of the aluminum sheet delivered to Volvo Cars by 78%, and ensures that their production scrap remains in the value-chain and is transformed into the same high-quality products indefinitely.
“We are very proud of the closed-loop recycling system we introduced with Volvo Cars,” said Michael Hahne, vice president Automotive at Novelis Europe. “As the global leader in aluminum recycling, Novelis has pioneered the biggest automotive closed-loop recycling systems in the world. In this way, we are reducing our dependence on primary aluminum and creating a more efficient and sustainable business model for us and our customers.”
The collaboration reflects the long-term partnership between the companies — with sustainability at the core of both businesses and a strong focus on implementing sustainable manufacturing processes along the value chain. This is also demonstrated through a desire to operate ethically and responsibly, protecting the health and safety of their people, developing their employees skills, and contributing to the communities in which they operate.
Novelis has implemented closed-loop systems with other major automakers as well — including Ford and Jaguar Land Rover — transitioning the manufacture of automotive components from a traditional linear approach to a closed-loop one. This is a part of the company’s overall focus on increasing its use of recycled aluminum in order to minimize the use of natural resources across the value chain. Thus far, the company has increased the amount of overall recycled aluminum in its products from 33% in 2010 to over 61% in 2019. Moving forward, Novelis plans to not only continue to develop recycling-friendly aluminum alloys and solutions, but will also capitalize on the growing source of recycled aluminum from end-of-life vehicles.
The company has recently improved the sustainability of the logistics for its closed-loop systems, as well. It has shifted the transportation of aluminum for its closed-loop systems from road to train, which reduces transport-related CO2 emissions by 68%.
Volvo recently launched the XC40 SUV (pictured), its first all electric vehicle. The SUV implements a version of Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture, which incorporates aluminum in the bumper beams, strut towers, and strut tower brace. In addition, the battery is protected by a safety cage that consists of a frame of extruded aluminum and that has been embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure, creating a built-in crumple zone around the battery.