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.
Meeting our energy efficiency target and aiming at an additional 10% improvement
Our target for 2015 was to improve energy efficiency by 10%, from a 2010 baseline. As we reported last year, we succeeded in reaching this target in 2014, 12 months ahead of schedule. One of the highlights of 2015 was the successful upgrade of a recycling furnace at Neuf-Brisach to incorporate oxyfuel technology, which resulted in more energy efficient recycling at the plant. However, despite this achievement, our overall performance slipped slightly during the year which means that we have in fact improved energy efficiency by only 9% since 2010.
This was mainly due to lower energy performance of specific industrial equipment and ramp-up of new products that impaired overall efficiency. Most of these issues have now been resolved and they should not affect our 2016 results. We remain committed to further gains in energy efficiency, and have targeted an additional 10% improvement by 2020. In order to support this goal we have reactivated and reinvigorated our energy network.
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.