Novelis Inc. and thyssenkrupp Materials Services have formed a partnership to increase end-of-vehicle-life recycling and availability of valuable secondary materials that can be recovered from automobiles at the end of the consumer-use cycle.

Through the joint development of a digital platform called the Automotive Circularity Platform (ACP), the companies seek to digitalise the market for secondary materials recovered from end-of-life vehicles and increase its transparency by creating an ecosystem with the common long-term goal to increase the recycling rate of cars and reduce carbon emissions. ACP will be a digital marketplace that connects stakeholders throughout the automotive end-of-life value chain and empowers automotive suppliers to capture and reuse aluminium and other materials, such as steel, plastics, glass, rubber, and more.

The first step is to create a prototype of the platform for comprehensive testing and evaluation purposes. The results of the proof-of-concept analysis will serve as feedback for Novelis and thyssenkrupp Materials Services to make enhancements and explore the possibility of wider adoption and use by their respective industry partners.

“ACP is a major step forward in creating an open, accessible trading platform for materials at the end of the consumer-use cycle for companies seeking to fulfill broader and deeper commitments to sustainability and circularity,” said Michael Hahne, Vice President and General Manager Automotive, Novelis Europe. “Not only will ACP increase circularity through optimised material flows and thus enable access to larger quantities of high-quality recycling materials, while minimizing waste to landfill, it will also create a transparent and trusted connection for all stakeholders to create and deploy their own value-generating recycling processes.”

With the rise in electric vehicles, the reduction of pollutants from tailpipes will become secondary to increasing supply chain and manufacturing efficiencies, as top targets for decarbonisation. A circular ecosystem with unprecedented collaboration between all stakeholders will play an essential role in the automotive industry reaching its climate targets.

“Novelis and thyssenkrupp Materials Services have formed a relationship that leverages the best of our companies’ respective expertise, the strengths of which are complementary in every respect,” said Sebastian Smerat, Head of Customer Innovation at thyssenkrupp Materials Services. “thyssenkrupp Materials Services delivers unmatched materials knowledge and experience in digital supply chains and market access to a broad, complex sector. Novelis brings in unique expertise in fields such as aluminium recycling, reuse processes and development of aluminium alloys with high-recycled content. With the idea of developing an automotive circularity platform for aluminium, we are consistently pursuing the path of our sustainability strategy BEYOND at thyssenkrupp Materials Services.”

For aluminium in particular, recycling is the epitome of sustainable practices representing an approximate 95% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the more energy intensive requirements of primary production. Furthermore, aluminium has the ability to be infinitely recyclable with no loss of properties including strength, lightness, durability, and formability. The many advantages aluminium offers contribute to its increasing use across industries seeking to achieve greater sustainability.

While closed-loop aluminium recycling of production scrap has become a sustainability best practice in the automotive industry in recent years, the loop at the end of a vehicle’s life has yet to be closed. In a market that is thriving with diverse opportunities and on the brink of exciting growth, the partnership between Novelis and thyssenkrupp Materials Services is a major step toward achieving a circular economy for aluminium.