Two thirds of the energy that the Hydro Group uses to produce its primary aluminium comes from renewable sources. In parallel, gains in the efficiency of processes have made it possible to reduce the amount of electricity needed to produce one tonne of aluminium by 33%. Used metal recycling is one of the areas that Hydro will concentrate on going forward.
The amount of recycled metal will increase during the coming years. In 2012 Hydro will double the volume of aluminium scrap the company recycles. Hydro extrudes Metal Technology profiles. As part of an agreed programme of sustainability approximately 70% of the metal used in Hydro's extrusion process is recycled. This metal requires only 5% of the energy necessary for the production of primary aluminium, giving Metal Technology profiles a greatly improved environmental footprint.
Within the powder coating industry, AkzoNobel lead the way in eliminating substances of concern. They do not manufacture powder containing toxic lead pigments. AkzoNobel are the world leaders in TGIC-free technology (triglycidyl isocyanurate, a cross linker used as a curing agent in powder coating since the 1970s).
Powder coating products have many environmental benefits. A powder coating is made up of raw materials, similar to other coatings, but without organic solvents. As a result there is no volatile release of organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere during application. Also, as no solvent is required with powder, there is a reduction of fire risk during storage and handling. The unique methods of application of a powder coating allow the solvent-free product to be applied in a one coat process and any excess powder is collected and reused. The powder coating paint application process results in high utilisation, low wastage and an economic applied cost.