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Stories by Hydro

How designers can accelerate the green transition: Why Hydro is at Milan Design Week

As industrial designers are important influencers of material selection in all industries, partnering up across the value chain is key for more sustainable production and consumption. That is why Hydro has been part of Milan Design Week for years, where half a million people gather every spring to view the latest from the world of design.

“Why does an aluminium and renewable energy company like Hydro work with designers? Because we believe in the power of partnerships. Through working with leading designers, we want to challenge the way things are made and pull the industry in a greener direction through getting more manufacturers to understand how to select materials based on sustainability aspects,” says Trond Olaf Christophersen, Acting CFO and EVP Corporate Development in Hydro.

This year Hydro has challenged seven world renowned designers to create objects using extruded profiles made of Hydro CIRCAL 100R, the world's first aluminium made entirely from post-consumer scrap. The designs will be showcased at Hydro’s exhibition 100R.

“While sustainability has been a topic high on the design agenda for several years, the industry still frequently promotes the latest trends, new colors, new forms and functions. Sustainability in industrial design means selecting low-carbon and recyclable materials, and designing for effective production and recycling of the materials by the end of life. We aim to show how scrap can be turned into pristine looking design objects that are ready for mass production,” says Asle Forsbak, 100R Project Lead and Marketing and Communication Director, at Hydro Extrusions. 

How labeling materials can make greener design easier

Hydro believes transparency is key. Up to 80 percent of a product's environmental impact is decided at the drawing board. By understanding a material's origins and environmental impact, designers can make a significant difference by making informed choices throughout the design process.

Take aluminium for example. Aluminium’s footprint can vary dramatically depending on production methods. Fossil fuel based aluminium carries a much heavier burden than recycled aluminium or aluminium produced using renewable energy sources. This is why Hydro is a champion for clear material labeling across industries.

“To accelerate the green transition, we need transparency in the footprint of materials. Through labelling our low-carbon aluminium, we want to prevent greenwashing and to make it easier to make greener choices, both for the designer and for the end-consumer,” says Christophersen.

Recycling is the fastest way towards Hydro’s goal of delivering zero-carbon aluminium and growth in recycling is a key part of Hydro’s 2030 strategy. By recycling post-consumer scrap, which is aluminium that has lived a past life as beverage cans, old window frames and used car parts, etc., the material reaches a very low-carbon footprint. Hydro CIRCAL recycled aluminium is available with 75 percent post-consumer scrap and with 100 percent post-consumer scrap. Producing Hydro CIRCAL 100R is complicated and time consuming, and is therefore currently only available in small, on-demand batches.

Visit us at the 100R exhibition in Milan

In Milan, Hydro emphasizes the importance of designing with recycling in mind and selecting materials that contribute to a circular economy. We invite you to join us in discussions at our exhibition. 

The 100R exhibition will be shown at Spazio Maiocchi during Milan Design Week 2024, April 15 – 21. 

Read more about the exhibition on


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