Life cycle assessments (LCA) are key to helping us enhance sustainability. We use LCAs to identify ways to improve the environmental performance of existing products and those in development.
This holistic examination includes an assessment of raw material production, manufacturing, distribution, use, disposal, and end-of-life recycling, as well as all the transportation and distribution stages either required or caused by a product’s existence.
We analyzed the effects of using an aluminium car hood produced by Constellium versus a traditional steel version. Assessed by a third party, the LCA showed that GHG emissions of the aluminium hood using our material were 37% lower than for a steel one. The combination of aluminium’s strength and lightness achieves major weight savings and hence lower fuel consumption during use. Its efficient recycling also helps to recover a significant part of the initial investment.
We were keen to understand the effects of recycling rates on carbon emissions for cans manufactured with our aluminium. Using real manufacturing data, we proved the importance of increasing end-of-life recycling rates to improve sustainability.
Crash Management Systems
We expanded our car component assessments to include the extruded and machined parts in Crash Management Systems (CMS). The results show that over a full life cycle, the aluminium product led to significantly less GHG emissions than its steel counterpart.