Improving our energy efficiency
When we consider energy efficiency across the full life-cycle of a product, aluminium has inherent advantages over alternative materials. Light and strong, aluminium content in products such as cars and airplanes leads to significantly greater energy efficiency during the usage stage, while aluminium can also be infinitely recycled using only moderate amounts of energy.
These advantages outweigh the fact that aluminium is energy intensive during the manufacturing stage. We strive to make sure that aluminium delivers on its potential to save energy by working hard on energy efficiency initiatives across our plants.
Pursuing our effort on energy efficiency
After achieving a 9% improvement between 2010 and 2015, we did set a new target to increase energy efficiency by 10% by 2020, from a 2015 baseline. This translates into an average improvement of 2.1% per year. During the last 12 months we recorded only a 0.3% improvement, largely due to the temporary effects of ramp-ups and operational changes.
Ramping up new investments leads to additional consumption
The proven success and sound prospects of our business units have been the foundations for significant investments in new production equipment at many of our plants. While such investments are excellent indicators of the company’s strength, they have the unavoidable effect of temporarily impacting our energy performance. During the ramp up period, energy consumption rises while output remains low.
On track with our project
However, we have continued to target improvements and all our energy-related projects remain on schedule. For example, new furnaces at Muscle Shoals, Neuf-Brisach, Issoire and Ravenswood are coming on stream, and will start to deliver results in 2017.
Achieving ISO 50001 certification
We have successfully achieved our aim of having all our major European sites certified to the ISO 50001 energy management standard, in line with the commitment made in 2012. ISO 50001 helps organizations such as Constellium conserve resources, tackle climate change, and save money at the same time. Based on continuous improvement, it enables us to use energy more efficiently, through the development of an energy management system.