Aluminium & Sustainability

Our work might not last forever but the aluminium we use should, thanks to its infinite recyclability. 

We recognise the need to make the most of resources, to operate responsibly and be a good corporate citizen. So that's what we do. 

For projects using large amounts of aluminium, we have taken steps to carefully assess and control the impact our operations make. This starts with sourcing aluminium sustainably and continues through the production process, to the finished facade. The following overview explains more, but not everything, We encourage you to contact us if you would like to learn more about aluminium and its sustainable use. 

Sourcing Aluminium

Nearly all of our aluminium is considered 'green aluminium'. This means it has been sourced from smelters who use electricity in the smelting process derived from renewable energy sources. In our case, this is Tiwai Point, which relies on hydro-power. The cradle -to-gate emissions (t C02e) of green aluminium are around 2/3 less than those of black aluminium (where the smelting process is powered by burning fossil fuel). 

Manufacturing with Aluminium

Aluminium waste comes in various shapes and sizes. Whilst we endeavour to reduce waste as much as possible, there is always some. The crucial thing is what we do with the waste. We're careful to collect even the smallest swarf spit out from the machining processes. We won't pretend we can round up 100% but swarf we do find is brushed and collected. It's destined for our aluminium waste which is then recycled. Indeed, the infinite recyclability of aluminium is one of its attractions and we know our waste is going to be used in some shape or form. 

Aluminium & the Circular Economy

One of the reasons we favour aluminium is because it makes sense at every stage of its life, with a financial and sustainability advantage when compared to other materials, such as glass. Aluminium is comparatively easy to collect and sort for recycling, a process that uses 90% less energy than the original production. This ease and cost effectiveness of recycling makes sure aluminium waste has enough value to make it beneficial. Whilst we would like to think the environmental benefits of recycling should be incentive enough, we know the world is imperfect. With a fiscal incentive attached, 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use today. That's a remarkable amount and while the financial incentives are not what motivates us personally, there is a degree of satisfaction from knowing they aid the circular economy of our core material. 

In short, we take confidence from knowing that even if our louvres are suddenly deemed not needed on a building, they'll be destined for another life, in another form, rather than the landfill. Over 90% of all aluminium used in construction will be recycled at the end of use.