Novelis’ Yeongju plant recently brought an all-new meaning to the phrase good neighbor. For its environmental efforts, the plant received the Prime Minister’s Commendation on September 6 at the South Korea Ministry of Environment’s 2013 Leading Resource Recycling Corporations Awards. In this blog post, Hongsoon Park, Yeongju Plant Manager, tells us how the facility has been able to share its extra heat with a neighboring plant, saving fuel, energy and money.
Ever since the Novelis Yeongju plant commenced operations in 1993, it has been dedicated to minimizing its environmental footprint. Our operations, which include casting, rolling, finishing and recycling, emit a tremendous amount of heat. Being such a large plant, Yeongju’s exhaust heat boiler had insufficient capacity to absorb most of the heat, but in 2009, we installed a new exhaust heat boiler with a capacity of 10 tons per hour to improve the energy efficiency of the plant.
The energy recaptured through the exhaust heat boilers was first used throughout the plant for various processes and heating. Most of the energy was used for heat treatment of rolling oil to prevent bacteria growth. It was also used for heating the workshops and offices in winter. Naturally, the demand for heat was not very high during the warmer months of the year, so some of the extra heat was still being discharged. This prompted us at the Yeongju plant to seek ways to sell the energy to outsiders.
Fortunately, we found a perfect customer in our neighbor KT&G. KT&G’s Yeongju plant is close enough to our plant that we were able to directly provide the energy to the plant by installing a pipe between our two facilities. Coincidentally, KT&G Yeongju plant’s demand for steam was especially high in the Summer – when ours is low – because it runs boilers for its cooling system. Now, instead of emitting hot spare steam into the air, we are able to let our neighboring plant use the energy for cooling. What a fantastic low-carbon, green partnership! An agreement was inked in 2011, and since then we have reduced the annual consumption of fuel oil by 55 percent – roughly 1.5 million liters – and saved approximately $1 million.
Not only are we generating less in greenhouse gas emissions, but the temperatures of emissions are lower, helping counter global warming. And, according to the certificate that the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of the Republic of Korea issued to the plant to certify its reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we curtailed our greenhouse gas emissions by 11,533 tons in terms of CO2e (equivalent carbon dioxide) in just one year by adding the new exhaust heat boiler. That’s equivalent to planting nearly 2.3 million 30-year-old pine trees!
Every year in the state of Georgia, about 1,023 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. When that diagnosis happens, a family’s life turns upside down, and instead of dealing with Little League and ballet practices, they become concerned about surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. That’s when Make-A-Wish comes along and asks the child a very simple question: If you could meet anyone, if you could go anywhere, if you could do anything, if you could have anything, what would it be? The real mission is to provide hope, strength, and joy – not just to that child, but to the entire family. Last year, we granted 426 wishes in the state of Georgia alone – that’s more than one wish a day! We also reached a major milestone for our chapter by granting our 6,000th wish in the state.
As we look to those who have helped us successfully deliver our mission throughout the state, Novelis is at the top of the list. Novelis has been a corporate partner of Make-A-Wish Georgia for several years and their extraordinary support and generous gifts over time have been invaluable to the organization’s operation. The company’s most recent gift of $300,000 brings Novelis’ cumulative giving to over $1.25 Million since 2010, making Novelis our largest corporate donor. The company has served as a corporate sponsor for each of our signature events – the Walk for Wishes, the Wish Ball and the Tournament of Wishes – while continuing to offer opportunities for Novelis employees to become engaged in volunteer service with us.
We were so proud to recognize Novelis President and CEO Phil Martens and the Novelis Team this past October with the Power of a Wish Award at our Celebration of Wishes Gala. This is a recognition that is presented annually to an individual or group that has exhibited outstanding leadership over an extended period of time to help Make-A-Wish Georgia expand its ability to deliver its mission of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. The invaluable leadership and commitment of Phil Martens and the entire Novelis team have provided hundreds of our deserving children with hope, strength and joy at a time when they need it the most. Such generosity and dedication truly reflect the incredible heart of the company, its leadership and its employees. Every wish that we fulfill is possible only because of partners like Novelis who truly believe in our organization’s work. Their contributions are making the dreams of our wish children come true, one at a time.
On October 24, Novelis celebrated the grand opening of our expanded operations in Oswego, New York. At a ceremony attended by government officials, media and Novelis executives, the ribbon was officially cut on Oswego’s two new automotive finishing lines, adding 240 kt automotive sheet capacity at the plant. Novelis broke ground on the $200 million expansion in 2011. With this commissioning, the plant is now equipped to serve our customers in North America and meet the rising demand for automotive sheet in the region.
Patty Ritchie, New York State Senator; Thomas W Gillen, Mayor of Oswego; Marco Palmieri, Senior Vice President and President Novelis North America; Phil Martens, Novelis President and CEO; and Chris Smith, Oswego Plant Manager, cut the ribbon at the Oswego automotive grand opening. Watch the slideshow above to see more photos from the event.
We just released our third annual Sustainability Report outlining our efforts as a company to achieve the lofty goal of transforming the way we do business in order to become a leader in sustainability in our industry. Three years ago, we announced our vision for the year 2020: to use 80% recycled aluminum in our products. How are we doing? A few highlights:
A 19 percent reduction in energy intensity, more than halfway to goal of 39 percent
A 16 percent reduction in water intensity, more than halfway to its goal of 25 percent
A 14 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, representing significant progress towards reaching its total goal of halving Novelis’ absolute GHGs
Strong progress on sustainable investments in increasing recycling and automotive lightweighting capacity
Along the way, we’ve introduced an ethos of disruption in our business practice and the report highlights what that looks like in practice.
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made but cognizant of the fact that we still have a long way to go on our sustainability journey. It’s one thing to state a numbers goal, it’s another thing to achieve that goal. Our goal has required us to radically transform the way we do business, with every aspect of the process challenged. Striving to become a truly sustainable enterprise means rethinking our entire business model from a traditional linear one to a closed loop one.
At Novelis, we have introduced the concept of looking at our production process as a circular or cradle-to-cradle model. At the most basic level, we are focused on high-recycled content, closed-loop manufacturing and sustainable product development. We have changed the way we think about our business at the sourcing, manufacturing, customer and consumer levels. One example of this is our recently introduced evercan™, the world’s first independently certified, high-recycled content aluminum beverage can sheet. This product represents a truly closed-loop model, delivering sustainable benefits at all levels of production.
I encourage you to look at our Sustainability Report and to ask us questions. We’re up for it. We have a determined focus on becoming a fully sustainable company, operating ethically and responsibly, and becoming strong stewards of the environment. The report outlines the earliest phase of our journey and our plans for long-term success. For more information, visit the company’s interactive sustainability website and download the 2013 Novelis Sustainability Report or summary document. As Vice President and Chief Sustainability officer of Novelis, I’m invested in this and want to hear from you.
Earlier this year, Novelis introduced the world’s first independently certified, high recycled content aluminum can sheet. Learn more about this disruptive innovation in the beverage can industry in our all-new video: