Our aim is to enable a more circular economy through our remelt facilities, where we sort and remelt used and production scrap aluminium
Currently, more than half of the aluminium we use in our production is recycled.
Look for the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative label
Hydro takes sustainability seriously. We are certifying plants in all parts of our value chain under the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), which means you can trust that we will guide you towards the industry’s most sustainable materials and solutions.
The energy bank
Aluminium is like an energy bank. Once it is produced, it can be reused infinitely, and reusing post-consumer aluminium scrap has a very small carbon footprint.
Post-consumer scrap has already lived a “life” – maybe in a window frame or a can – and now it has been recycled to be turned into something new. Pre-consumer scrap is typically scrap that comes from the production process and hasn’t been used. The most CO2 efficient aluminium products are the ones made from post-consumer scrap.
An aluminium extrusion is on average 15 to 20 years old when it is discarded. After recycling, this aluminium gets a second life. But the remelting process only adds 5% of the initial energy used to produce the primary aluminium. The aluminium does not lose any of its properties during the recycling process.
Recycling 1 tonne of aluminium saves 6 tonnes of bauxite and 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Globally, the recycling of aluminium saves more than 100 million tonnes of CO2 every year.”
Learn to design for recycling
How can you as an industrial designer, architect or engineer design and manufacture for a circular economy? Here are three points worth considering:
The first is choosing a sustainable material that can be recycled when the product is no longer in use. To give an example close to home, aluminium is a sustainable material because it can be recycled and reused. It does not lose its properties after recycling and the remelting process can save energy consumption by as much as 95 percent.
The second point is joining. You need to know how to join the materials, because the joining method you choose makes a difference. Why?
- Similar materials do not need to be separated, hence improving the recycling rate
- In mixed-material combinations, the best joining techniques enable simple and practical disassembly and separation prior to recycling. These can be mechanical fasteners, including bolts, screws, snap-fit and interlock joints.
The last point you should consider is repair – and reuse – of the product. Can it be repaired? By whom? Can you use the product or its materials again?
Fortunately, we are seeing more products than before being designed for easy reparation and/or easy reuse by industrial designers and manufacturing companies.