Not just aluminum, Novelis Aluminum.TM

What’s better than craft beer in a can? Craft beer in an evercan…

Novelis evercan and Red Hare Brewing Company share a booth at Oskar Blues Burning Can Festival to tell the story of the world’s first beer in an evercan.

Novelis evercan and Red Hare Brewing Company shared a booth at Oskar Blues Burning Can Festival to tell the story of the world’s first beer in an evercan.

This summer we took a road trip to Brevard, NC, just outside of Asheville, to celebrate craft beer in a can at the Oskar Blues Burning Can Festival.

Joined by our friends at Marietta-based Red Hare Brewing Company – the first beverage brand to can their drinks in evercan™ -  we weren’t just celebrating craft beer in a can, we were celebrating craft beer in an evercan, the world’s first sustainable beverage can with a minimum 90 percent certified recycled content.

And we weren’t alone. Nearly 1,200 people and 30 other craft brewers passionate about canned beer turned out to celebrate a more sustainable way to package their unique varieties of craft beers. And that’s when we broke the news that craft beer in a can just got even better.

Red Hare brews in First Edition evercan packaging, alongside Oskar Blue’s signature Burning Can beer sampler.

Red Hare brews in First Edition evercan packaging, alongside Oskar Blue’s signature Burning Can beer sampler.

We shared our story with an amazing response. Consumers and craft brew brands alike were eager to hear about a can that’s not just infinitely recyclable, but infinitely recycled, closing the loop and creating a great example of a can to can circular economy.

Even the local news caught on and decided to share our story with the wider Asheville community.

The best part? Thanks to Oskar Blues’ Can’d Aid Foundation, all the cans consumed during the festival were recycled with help from the Foundation’s new recycling grants program, enabling all those used cans to become new cans in just 60 days.


New aluminum sandwich panel for building construction proves lighter, more durable and energy-efficient

During the 35th MBC Construction Expo, visitors experienced the lightness of aluminum by comparing miniature sized houses made of steel and aluminum.

During the 35th MBC Construction Expo, visitors experienced the lightness of aluminum by comparing miniature sized houses made of steel and aluminum.

Novelis recently showcased its high-strength rolled aluminum for sandwich panels at the 35th MBC Construction Expo held at KINTEX, Ilsan, Korea. “Sandwich panels” consist of a core of polystyrene, or other material, sandwiched between two sheets of metal.  The new aluminum sandwich panels can be used most commonly in building construction for roofs and walls of plants and warehouses and offer clear material advantages over the traditional steel sandwich panel.

Unlike steel, aluminum sandwich panels are corrosion-resistant and weigh one-third that of steel. The lighter weight and durability allows for easier and safer building construction conditions, fewer repairs and maintenance and longer material lifespan. Even after long-term use, the aluminum in these sandwich panels can be recycled over and over again, making them a more sustainable building material.

When used as a single roofing panel, aluminum panels also allow for reduced indoor temperature as aluminum reflects sunlight better than steel. Aluminum can keep indoor temperatures 4.5 degrees Celsius lower on average than steel, according to the aluminum roofing sheets cooling effect study conducted by Aditya Birla Science & Technology Company Ltd.

Survey Says: Aluminum-bodied pickup trucks are here to stay

2015 Ford F-150A new survey of automakers reveals that by 2025, nearly 75 percent of all new pickup trucks produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied, and the number of vehicles with complete aluminum body structures will reach 18 percent of North American production, as opposed to less than one percent today.

The survey, commissioned by The Aluminum Association and conducted by Ducker Worldwide, included all major North American automakers and reports that Ford, General Motors and Chrysler will become the largest users of aluminum automotive sheet in the next ten years.

According to the survey, automakers anticipate 26.6 percent of all the body and closure parts for light vehicles in North America will be made of aluminum by 2025, increasing aluminum sheet for these parts from 200 million pounds in 2012 to 4 billion pounds by 2025.

This kind of anticipated growth is remarkable. Not only will seven out of ten new pickup trucks produced in North America be aluminum-bodied, but also more than 20 percent of all newly produced SUVs and full-sized sedans. Leading the continent in this material change is the all-new 2015 Ford F-150, scheduled to hit the marketplace later this year. And according to the experts, this is only the beginning.

Brands beware: sustainability matters and buyers are starting to demand it

FFF_logoThe chances are that aluminum has played some small part in your life today – whether that’s from the bus or car you traveled to work in, the roof over your head, or the beverage can you’re sipping from. Yet this ubiquitous material comes with significant sustainability impacts through its production (in terms of the impact on both local communities and biodiversity) and significant energy consumption, carbon emissions and waste.  What’s more, recycling systems to retrieve that raw material at the end of its first life are very different in different countries.

Despite that, the good news is that this versatile material can be recycled without losing quality, making it the ideal candidate material to show how it’s possible to move to a circular economy, where materials are recovered at the end of a product’s life to be repurposed.

That’s why we were so keen to work with Novelis which has set itself the ambitious goal of transforming its business model to a largely circular one – focussed on high recycled content, closed loop manufacturing, and sustainable product development.  In the process, it can progressively reduce its reliance on primary aluminum and the associated environmental and social costs.  Recycled aluminum uses only 5% of the energy of primary aluminium.

Novelis has also developed a new product – evercanTM.  This is a high-recycled-content aluminum sheet for beverage cans that can easily be recycled, and (once we get to use it intelligently across all societies), would dramatically reduce the impact of this particular packaging material.  From our perspective, it’s exciting to see evercan as the first step on the journey to disrupt the aluminum industry.  If that sounds like a no-brainer, the real challenge is making it mainstream.  A key piece of the puzzle is ensuring that brands and retailers adopt the new material to package their drinks.  But here we run up hard against a perennial problem: customers are hardly demanding that beverage brands and retailers should be using more sustainable drink cans, leaving a real gap in the market.

That’s what we set out to explore with Novelis and industry experts.  The findings are presented in this public-facing report. What we found was encouraging in that the average shopper sees wasteful packaging as a major irritation, and people are increasingly switched on to the environmental impact of the choices they make at the checkout.  Though one has to take some of these findings with a pinch of salt, it seems that people are also prepared to boycott brands that aren’t doing what they can to address their sustainability impacts.

This whole process is helped along by determined NGOs and very rapid social media campaigns. Metals and mining hit the spotlight last year when Friends of the Earth uncovered the social and environmental costs of tin mining in the production of smartphones, forcing the technology industry to take a much harder look at its supply chains.

At the same time, having a really positive environmental story to tell (by showing how people can play their part in closing the loop on aluminum) provides a fantastic opportunity for brands that often struggle to communicate with their consumers on sustainability. And given that many countries all around the world are now thinking of either introducing or reinforcing their extended producer responsibility legislation, evercan is a market-ready solution to allow brands to stay ahead of the curve.

So, what are we waiting for?