Phil Martens told the CRU 17th World Aluminium Conference in Abu Dhabi this week the company was on its way to achieve this target.
In 2010 the recycled content of its products was 30% but is now at 39%, well within reach of its mid-decade target of 50%.
It has improved its scrap procurement in North America and is also in the middle of global expansion with new recycling capacity coming online. The new sites are Yeongju, South Korea; Pinda, Brazil; Pieve Emmanuel, Italy; and Alunorf and Nachterstedt both in Germany.
When the Nachterstedt facility comes fully online Novelis’ total recycling capacity will be 2.1Mt in 2015. It is thought Nachterstedt will be the largest recycling centre in the world and also make Novelis the largest recycler of aluminium.
It is also focusing on its R&D, with technical innovation critical to meet the 80% target. The Nachterstedt site will be designed to recycle 18 different sorts of scrap including consumer, industrial and construction. It will also have improved melting furnaces and more sensors for scrap sorting.
It is also opening a Global Research and Development Centre near its corporate headquarters in the USA where it will also appoint a new chief technical officer for this role.
The aim of the centre is to find technical breakthroughs for scrap separation, sorting and formulation. Some of the promising techniques involve taking advantage of the value of alloying ingredients derived from mixed streams of recycled content.
This means finding processing methods in casting and fabrication that utilise these components to produce a more valuable product.
Any codes they break will have immediate application in the automotive, packaging, aerospace, electronics and aviation industries – areas all ripe for expansion in aluminium use.