Novelis and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are longstanding partners not only in automotive manufacturing but also in sustainability.
JLR is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturing business and a world leader in the use of automotive aluminum, which Novelis supplies. Using aluminum in cars creates a lightweight yet strong solution that enables vehicle mass and fuel consumption reductions, infinite recyclability and lower levels of personal carbon-rated taxation.
But while aluminum is infinitely recyclable, closed-loop recycling has been limited in its use and scale. So, as part of a multi-stakeholder partnership with initial grant funding from Innovate UK, Novelis and JLR worked together to launch REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR). This long term project, launched in 2008, aimed to create a close-loop production model using production scrap and working towards the capacity to recycle automobiles at the end of their lives, while meeting the specifications for the auto industry.
Together, the two companies have created a new automotive aluminum alloy that accepts increasing amounts of recycled aluminum automotive scrap. The newly developed alloy is now used on the Jaguar XE and XJ.
JLR also invested £6.2 million to ensure that press shop metal scrap could be segregated into separate metals, with separated aluminum alloys returned directly to Novelis. As a result, a Closed-Loop Value Chain (CLVC) was created and increasing volumes of segregated high quality scrap are being returned from JLR press shops directly to Novelis, rather than entering the general scrap market. This improved segregation has allowed JLR to increase revenue generation from their standard general scrap market sales (open-loop) to scrap sales back to Novelis (closed-loop), with a payback period of less than two years after the scrap enters the closed-loop.
Last week, Novelis and Jaguar Land Rover were recognized for their partnership and leadership with REALCAR at the 2015 Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Awards in London, where both companies were honored with the Best Business to Business (B2B) Partnership Award. Novelis was also awarded the Best Private Company Award for its overarching work in sustainability and recycling.
According to Adrian Tautscher, REALCAR Project Leader at JLR, “Working with Novelis and other REALCAR project partners, we’re pushing the boundaries of current levels of recycled aluminum use in the automotive industry. The REALCAR project addresses the full range of questions involved in expanding recycled aluminum use, from the composition of alloys to where and how we will secure suppliers of scrap aluminum. Novelis’ sustainability goals are well aligned with those of JLR. Novelis has been a thought partner at every step of the project, helping to tackle the technical issues and also think through how to create value through new models of sourcing and manufacturing.”
The insights gained from the Novelis-JLR partnership can be scaled to other material value chains or other aluminum applications. In fact, we recently replicated the model in the U.S. with Ford to supply the new lightweight, aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 truck. By requiring recycling criteria in customer contracts and recycling the same material we produce, Novelis is turning our customers into our suppliers, truly creating a circular business model and more sustainable business practices for us all.