At Novelis Inc., an Atlanta-based manufacturer of aluminum sheeting used in soda cans, sustainability isn’t just a corporate credo, it’s the life force that supplies energy for literally everything the corporation does—from billion-dollar metal purchases down to replacing pencils in the Finance department.
Novelis’ Sustainability Report 2013 is the winner of the Best Report category in PR Daily’s 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards because this annual report is a model of clear writing. It contains a minimum of corporate-speak and jargon. Instantly intelligible graphics and the literate, candid formulations of the company’s goals—and the obstacles still in the way of those goals—make it a pleasure to read.
In his articulate, persuasive annual report executive letter, Novelis CEO Phil Martens declares, “Our intent was to transcend the incremental approach [to sustainability] by radically transforming our company … the heart of our vision is our unprecedented goal to use 80% recycled aluminum by 2020 … this goal requires us to embrace an entirely new way of thinking and operating. We call it the ethos of disruption.”
Novelis expects its “disruptive” ideas will lead to zero industrial waste by 2020. That’s right: no waste. And the company says it will halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. If such statistics sound like pure corporate fantasy, just consider these facts and figures from the report:
- In 2013, Novelis introduced the first high recycled-content aluminum beverage-can sheet.
- At the end of fiscal year 2013, Novelis achieved 43 percent recycled inputs, up from 33 percent two years earlier.
- Novelis is the largest recycler of aluminum in the world.
- The company improved its energy efficiency by 20 percent over its 2007-2009 baseline.
- The company reduced its water usage by 16 percent, and waste by 11 percent since baseline.
- By 2015, Novelis will be at 50 percent usage of recycled production line inputs.
Martens claims, “… we are shifting our whole business model from a traditional linear one to a closed-loop one.” The sustainability implications of this goal are momentous.
The team that created this model of tight, transparent prose, standout graphics, and unforgettable summarizations includes Novelis staff members Brooke Beadle, Jessica Sanderson, James Brown, and John Gardner. Sincere congratulations to all four!
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