Sustainability

Sustainability

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Aluminum is a highly sustainable material.  It can be recycled an infinite number of times and with less energy input than other products of comparable strength.  99% of our production scrap is recycled and returned to us as part of our raw material needs.

Our commitment to the environment and the communities in which we do business informs every decision we make.  The health of both are critical to our ability to continue to serve our customers now and into the future.

But sustainability is about much more than our environment, it’s about the bottom line.

 


Gordon Aluminum is committed to being a sustainable source of sustainable products.

OUR PRODUCT

Aluminum is highly recyclable. In fact the majority of our raw material is comprised of approximately 65% post-industrial recycled material. Current remelting and re-alloying technology does not allow for higher recycled content in most applications. In addition, certain production and end use restrictions require us to use prime (no recycled content) billet on some of our products. But even then, 99% of the scrap generated in our production process is recycled back into billet. It is an almost completely closed-loop system.

SCRAP REDUCTION

We use multiple continuous improvement methods to constantly reduce the amount of scrap generated in our facility. From the sustainability standpoint, scrap reduction is one of the single most effective ways to reduce energy input and material waste. Remember that it takes just as much energy to produce a pound of scrap as it does to produce a pound of usable product. From a life cycle standpoint, that scrap has to be shipped to a remelt facility, get remelted, alloyed, and recast, and then get shipped back as billet. Reducing our internal scrap not only improves our energy and material consumption, it also avoids all of the energy input necessary for the recycling process.

PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT

We also use continuous improvement methods to improve productivity. Again, this is one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption. If we can produce more parts per hour, our machines need to run for fewer hours. It's that simple. Even the most efficient machines are limited by the productivity of the operators. Ensuring that operators work at peak efficiency allows our machines to achieve peak efficiency.

EQUIPMENT

We regularly make investments in new equipment that make our process more efficient. However, using modern equipment does not guarantee the best possible energy performance. Machines need to be properly maintained and regularly serviced to ensure that they are operating at the peak of their capability.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

We are always looking for new and better ways to improve our sustainability profile. But our resources are limited to a certain extent. That's why we have regularly enlisted the help of outside organizations like WMEP (Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership) so help us move our sustainability efforts forward. See our interview with WMEP about our participation in PSI (Profitable Sustainability Initiative).