March 19, 2014
Novelis has 2020 Vision on Sustainability
When Novelis launched its sustainability campaign in 2011, it set some high marks. The Atlanta-based producer of aluminum rolled products laid out 10 ambitious goals to achieve by 2020, a menu that includes tremendous growth in the use of recycled products, major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, and the complete elimination of waste sent to landfills.
"We knew when we set up such fundamental change, it couldn't be done in five minutes. We will really have to stretch to reach these targets," says John Gardner, who was appointed to the newly created position of chief sustainability officer in 2011.
Among the targets set for 2020:
• Increase the company's use of recycled content to 80 percent, from roughly 30 percent in 2007-09.
• Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, even as the company grows.
• Reduce energy usage by 39 percent per metric ton of sales.
• Reduce water usage by 25 percent per metric ton.
• Eliminate all landfill waste, down from 62,500 metric tons per year.
Just two years into its decade-long program, the company has already made significant gains, Gardner says. It is more than halfway to its energy and water reduction goals and has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent.
Novelis' efforts aren't going unnoticed. In February, it was one of 15 companies recognized by the EPA for excellence in greenhouse gas management. "It was super for the wider team to get that external recognition," Gardner says. "It's an indicator that we're moving in the right direction."
While being good corporate citizens is part of the payoff, ultimately the company believes its sustainability efforts will improve the bottom line. "We're not doing it for PR or compliance reasons," Gardner says. "We're doing it to make us a more successful business. We think sustainability is driving our business, and we can be a low-carbon supplier and gain a lot of competitive advantage." –By Senior Editor Dan Markham. [For the complete article, see the April issue of Metal Center News.]