Aluminum as a Sustainable and ‘Green’ Material of Choice
It is widely known that the natural minerals that produce aluminum are the third most abundant on the Planet and that aluminum is the most abundant metal. Less well known is that over two thirds of aluminum ever produced is still in use today (The Aluminum Association).
Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy that making it from scratch; the figure is 70% for plastics and 40% for paper (The Economist June 17, 2007)
For this reason, approximately 31% of all aluminum produced in the United States comes from recycled scrap.
Efficient production and recycling benefits the environment as well, with substantial reductions in Carbon Dioxide Emissions, not just because of aluminum’s very long life-cycle, but also its high ratio of recyclability and because the large producers of aluminum billet from both bauxite and from recycled aluminum are drawn towards low carbon emission sources of electricity used in the processes such as Nuclear, Hydroelectric, Solar, Wind and Geothermal.
The recycling of aluminum generally produces significant cost savings over the production of new aluminum even when the cost of collection, separation and recycling are taken into account (International Aluminum Institute). Over the long term, even larger national savings are made when the reduction in the capital costs associated with landfills, mines and international Shipping of raw aluminum are considered.
ABC – A ‘Green’ Policy Manufacturer with Practices of Sustainability
As a leading and fast expanding Extruder, and full-service Finisher and Fabricator of aluminum shapes, ABC takes its responsibilities for protecting the environment seriously; at every stage of production. The new SMS-Meer 10inch Press and the two Presezzi 8inch Presses currently being installed (one is replacing an older less efficient Press) were chosen not just for their technical capabilities but also for their high energy efficiency.
All scrap from extrusion run-out ‘grab-waste’, cut-to-length waste, under-tolerance and flawed extrusions, and even sweepings from swarf and scrap during fabrication are carefully collected for recycling.
But ABC’s Sustainability and ‘Green’ policies extend to all aspects of its operations:
- The new LIBRA Production Management Software maximizes production efficiencies at every level. Whilst every cost saving allows for even more competitive pricing and turnaround times, the benefits extend to energy and environmental savings.
- Emissions from Anodizing, Painting and Bright Dip Processes: though ABC’s main plant is in Mexico, just south of Tijuana, our Global HQ is in the U.S. and almost 90% of our clients are in the United States and Canada. Our plant is on a green-field site with housing and families close by. For many reasons, ABC spends whatever it takes to ensure run-off, vapor emissions etc. are all to U.S. and Canadian standards.
- Transportation has been introduced for making travel to and from the plant not just cheaper and more accessible for the 460 strong work-force who need it, but also the impact of vehicles, noise, exhaust, gasoline and parking has all been minimized.
Wadih Kuri, President and CEO today, commenting on the recent introduction of ABC’s Mission Vision and Values, and the appointment of ‘JJ’ the new Quality Control Director, said “At ABC Aluminum Solutions, we have always placed safety first and we have always taken responsibility for minimizing our footprint in the community.
Practicing our Values as a ‘Green’ company now has a dedicated executive who oversees this vital priority as an integral part of his Quality Control duties. We welcome JJ and I take this opportunity to remind everyone of their need to protect the environment, recycle wherever possible, use resources such as electricity and water wisely and live and work every day to ABC’s values for protecting and conserving the environment”.