Aluminum producer Novelis Inc., with global headquarters in Atlanta, has announced a closed-loop recycling partnership with Smart Press Shop (SPS), a joint venture between Porsche AG and Schuler Group that is based in Halle, Germany, that produces automotive body parts.
Novelis’ Nachterstedt, Germany, plant provides flat-rolled aluminum products to the Smart Press Shop and brings production scrap generated during SPS’ manufacturing process back to Nachterstedt to be recycled into new rolled sheet. Recycled aluminum requires 95 percent less energy to produce than primary aluminum, and the Novelis-SPS partnership is projected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 100,000 tons per year as a result, Novelis says in a news release about the partnership.
SPS produces components for automotive exteriors, such as door panels and hood skins, and chose to work with Novelis because of the aluminum producer’s success in developing and implementing closed-loop recycling systems for leading automakers, such as BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.
Novelis, as part of its wider carbon-reduction strategy, has been investing in its recycling capabilities globally and establishing recycling programs with automakers. Earlier this year, Novelis announced plans to build a $365 million recycling center next to its automotive finishing plant in Guthrie, Kentucky, in the United States. That facility will allow it to grow its closed-loop recycling programs with North American automotive customers, Novelis says. The company also plans to invest about $50 million to build a recycling center at its Ulsan Aluminum joint venture in South Korea and $375 million to expand rolling and recycling capabilities at its plant in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China. Novelis says the project in China will fully integrate its automotive business to supply automakers in Asia.
“SPS and Novelis are ideal partners to advance the automotive industry closer to achieving the standards of a circular economy through sustainable material sourcing and production,” says Michael Hahne, vice president, Automotive, Novelis Europe. “At Novelis, we have a remarkable story to tell about our closed-loop-recycling innovations. From our objective of achieving zero waste-to-landfills to becoming carbon neutral, we take our responsibility as a global sustainability leader very seriously and look forward to all that we can achieve with SPS.”
SPS uses digitized processes and laser cutting technology to manufacture exterior vehicle body parts, optimizing material recovery rates, Novelis says in the news release about the partnership. In addition, the proximity of the Halle plant to Novelis’ Nachterstedt Recycling Center, which it describes as the world’s largest aluminum recycling facility, further enhances environmental sustainability because it reduces transport times.
“High-end car customers have a clear vision of what they expect manufacturers to provide, and in addition to premium quality, sustainability is playing an increasing role,” Hendrik Rothe, managing director of SPS, says. “With our partner Novelis, we are able to take intelligent automotive designs and manufacturing to new heights by making more efficient, sustainable automotive components and increasing the resiliency of our supply chain.”
Novelis says the companies have secured initial projects for premium car manufacturers focused on lightweighting and are working together to extend the supply of sustainable aluminum car body parts to additional automakers.