Aluminum Sustainability

At IMDesign our cabinetry is built with 25% recycled aluminum and is 100% recyclable.
Aluminum as an extremely sustainable material to use. Here's why:
According to articles on the IAI (International Aluminum Institute) web site, aluminum producers are concerned with climate change and global warming. Data from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that only 1% of the greenhouse emissions induced by humans is caused by new aluminum production. The industry considers aluminum’s entire lifecycle (use and reuse) to be important in its effects on global warming. The amount of energy saved by using aluminum is far superior to that needed to produce it. This is thanks to its characteristics, lightweight, strength and versatility.
 
Here are some examples:
1.    Using lightweight aluminum components in all types of vehicles reduces fuel consumption by up to eight percent for every 10% reduction in weight. Just one kg of aluminum used in vehicle components can eliminate 20kg of CO2 during a vehicle's lifetime. (imagine the reductions in larger vehicles like trains or planes)
2.    Aluminum components in vehicles translates into savings of anywhere from 6 to 12 times the amount of energy needed to produce the primary aluminum used.
Aluminum’s versatility allows for intelligent uses of the material and this in turn allows the industry to adapt, diversify and change to find solutions that may used in many applications.

The Aluminum Extruders’ Association has developed an excellent definition of aluminum’s recycling process and its advantages. First we must define the word recycle: it’s seen as something that comes full circle from when the consumer purchases a product, uses it, discards it to collection (including sorting and possible separation of toxic materials) then on to manufacturing and again back to the consumer. The sole fact that a product is recyclable isn't sufficient; it must eventually get back to a realistic end use.

The importance of recycling may seem obvious but there are diverse reasons behind it.
 
Reduce waste:
Most landfills are running over capacity and therefore separating reusable and recyclable materials will reduce the amount of waste added to landfills daily.
 
Reduce costs:
Our businesses strive on reducing costs and recycling does just that when you consider how much it costs to recycle materials vs mining costs. In aluminum’s case in particular recycling saves 95% of the costs compared to producing primary aluminum.
 
Reduce natural resource usage:
In order to make 1 pound of aluminum, 4 pounds of bauxite ore are used so for every 1 pound of aluminum that’s recycled, 4 pounds of bauxite ore are saved.

Recycling aluminum has many advantages. All shapes of aluminum are recyclable, from foil to automobile components and extruded profiles. Aluminum doors, windows and ladders are some examples of the most frequently used household aluminum extrusions. Rail cars and truck trailers are other examples of larger items that can be recycled and often create an important financial return. An important metal producer once explained that when hundreds of all-aluminum rail cars were returned to them for recycling at the end of their 25 year lease the value after recycling was approximately 90% of their manufacturing cost!

No matter how many times aluminum is used, recycled and reused it never loses its unique benefits as a metal and the fact that it is recycled doesn't lessen its quality.”

To find out more about aluminum please go to:

www.aec.org

www.world-aluminium.org