Net Zero Lab drives decarbonization of Swiss aluminium plant
Novelis and its partners at the research and development laboratory Net Zero Lab Valais, successfully completed the first year of operations, launching key energy projects aimed at enabling scope 1 and 2 carbon neutral production at Novelis´ Sierre plant in Switzerland.
In the first year of the plant’s decarbonization journey with the Net Zero Lab Valais, Novelis has approved an investment in a new electrical pusher furnace, which will allow us to pre-heat sheet ingots with renewable electricity instead of natural gas, saving around 4,500t CO2eq per year and up to 180,000 CO2eq over the furnace’s lifetime.
In addition, the lab partners completed a project to transfer waste heat from the casting process at our Novelis plant to the Technopôle – a nearby building complex. The energy supply, corresponding to a power of around 200 kilowatt-hours, covers about one-third of the Swiss Digital Center’s total energy demand. Together with OIKEN, a local energy provider and lab partner, Novelis intends to further expand this energy ecosystem with the goal to supply a substantial part of the Sierre region´s energy demand before 2030.
Modelling an optimized system for the plant´s energy sourcing, conversion, and reuse is the goal of an ongoing systemic study that began with the launch of Net Zero Lab Valais in 2022. The focus is to replace fossil-based energy sources with carbon neutral ones rather than offsetting carbon emissions through credits. First models and results will be released in May this year. The ultimate goal of research and projects coming out of the Net Zero Lab Valais is to find ways Novelis can reach carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions at our Sierre plant by 2030, and then extend them to our other plants around the world. The multitude of decarbonization projects underlines our ambitious sustainability goals. We have set targets to reduce our carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2026, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. Beyond our focus on energy efficiency initiatives and recycling, Novelis will continue to seek opportunities to decarbonize its operations by converting to renewable energy sources.