ZURICH, Feb. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Novelis Inc., the world leader in aluminium rolling and recycling, today signed a long-term collaboration agreement with HES-SO Valais-Wallis in collaboration with EPFL of Energypolis Campus, a Swiss innovation and research hub, as well as energy distributor OIKEN, to start a joint research and development (R&D) laboratory to advance carbon neutral solutions for aluminium manufacturing.
The R&D lab, named Net Zero Lab Valais, will be located at Novelis' plant in Sierre, Switzerland. The Sierre site, the broader Valais region and Switzerland itself are an ideal fit for the planned initiatives due to the availability of renewable energy and strong research institutions, as well as a firm commitment to sustainability. The work of the lab will focus on identifying and implementing innovative solutions to neutralize the carbon footprint of Novelis' manufacturing operations and neighboring communities, starting in Sierre. The aim is to reach carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions at the plant by 2030.
"As the industry leader and the world's largest aluminium recycler, Novelis is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner," said Pierre Labat, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Novelis Inc. "This partnership underscores that commitment and we expect the research to allow for greater innovation in advancing our efforts to create a sustainable world together."
Throughout the first months of collaboration, the Net Zero Lab Valais will conduct a research study to identify decarbonization solutions and will launch an ecosystem by which Novelis, in collaboration with OIKEN, will share the energy from its Sierre plant with the surrounding area. This will help lower the area's carbon footprint, as well as the carbon footprint of the manufacturing site.
"We are working relentlessly on reducing all emissions at our sites, in our supply chain and in the energy we use," said Emilio Braghi, Executive Vice President, Novelis Inc. and President, Novelis Europe. "The Net Zero Lab Valais is another lever for increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and supporting our communities. We will develop innovative solutions that we can later implement on a broader scale at our different production sites across the globe, while we simultaneously continue to work on increasing the recycled content in our products to deliver the lowest total carbon footprint for aluminium sheet. We are very proud to have such strong and experienced partners as HES-SO Valais-Wallis, EPFL and OIKEN at our side to drive carbon neutral production."
"We are excited about kicking-off this laboratory for applied research activities and to find solutions for reducing CO2 emissions in the aluminium industry," said François Seppey, Director of HES-SO Valais-Wallis. "Sustainable development is at the heart of the strategy of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis. The competences within our energy and environment research institute perfectly meet the challenges of this collaboration with Novelis. Not only are the employees knowledgeable and passionate about sustainability, the plant also includes all manufacturing steps in the aluminium production process and a R&D center, which will support meaningful research. This lab will be an ideal ecosystem to develop outstanding skills for early career engineers and enhance their contribution to the decarbonization of the whole industry in the near future."
"The Net Zero Lab Valais is a model for joining efforts between research and industry to decrease the carbon footprint of a region and understanding symbiosis between industrial activities and the energy system," said Professor François Marechal, Head of Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering group in EPFL. "The same time, it will give early career talented engineers the chance to gain valuable insights and knowledge in applied and fundamental research."
"The Net Zero Lab Valais is an important initiative to help decarbonize the region," said François Fellay, CEO of OIKEN. "In addition, by supplying waste heat into the future district heating system, Novelis' manufacturing site will also become a major contributor to our low carbon energy system."
About Novelis in Sierre
Novelis' Sierre site is located in the Valais region of Switzerland, employing more than 500 people. It is the most advanced integrated plant focusing on the production of aluminium sheet for the automotive market, covering the entire process from casting to finishing. The site features a world-leading Research & Innovation Center specialized in the development of sustainable, low-carbon and innovative automotive sheet alloys, surface treatment and joining technologies.
Novelis Inc. is driven by its purpose of shaping a sustainable world together. We are a global leader in the production of innovative aluminium products and solutions and the world's largest recycler of aluminium. Our ambition is to be the leading provider of low-carbon, sustainable aluminium solutions and to achieve a fully circular economy by partnering with our suppliers, as well as our customers in the aerospace, automotive, beverage can and specialties industries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Novelis had net sales of $12.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. Novelis is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited, an industry leader in aluminium and copper, and the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai. For more information, visit novelis.com.
About HES-SO Valais-Wallis
With its eleven degree programmes, two study programmes and nine research institutes, the HES-SO Valais-Wallis - University of Applied science Western Switzerland Valais is a leading hub of skills and innovation, preparing students for the world of work with courses that place the emphasis on the practical. As a true centre of excellence and innovation, the HES-SO Valais-Wallis has nine research institutes dedicated to applied research and development (R&D). The research conducted at these institutes serves to continuously update the training provided with the latest findings and to promote the transfer of knowledge and the sharing of expertise. The HES-SO Valais-Wallis run various projects both within and between disciplines in collaboration with industry partners and with other universities in Switzerland and abroad.
The Energypolis Campus provides an ecosystem of innovation, bringing together skills and knowledge from EPFL Valais Wallis and HES-SO Valais-Wallis-School of Engineering, The Ark Foundation and many other contributors influential in the fields of energy, green chemistry, circular economy, Alpine and polar environments and health.
EPFL is Europe's most cosmopolitan technical university. It welcomes students, professors and collaborators of more than 120 nationalities. EPFL has both a Swiss and international vocation and focuses on three missions: teaching, research and innovation. EPFL collaborates with an important network of partners, including other universities and colleges, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and the economy, political circles and the general public, with the aim of having a real impact on society.
With over 790 million kWh of electricity and 900 million kWh of heat distributed annually, OIKEN is the largest energy distributor in the Valais. OIKEN serves 24 municipalities between Salquenen and Conthey. Through mandates, OIKEN also manages hydroelectric facilities, drinking water supply, public lighting, multimedia services and electrical installations. OIKEN and its more than 500 employees activate the future.
Statements made in this news release that describe Novelis' intentions, expectations or predictions may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include the goal to reach carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions at the Sierre plant by 2030 and for Novelis to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Novelis cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. We do not intend, and we disclaim any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Important risk factors which could impact outcomes are included under the caption "Risk Factors" in the company's Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
SOURCE Novelis Inc.