Guy Mercer, EMR’s Sustainability DirectorOur Decade of Action: beyond a paper commitment - The Aluminium Federation

EMR’s long-term target is to be carbon neutral by 2040 across all three scopes of its relevant greenhouse gas emissions. However, just committing to this is not enough without action to back it up. At EMR, we judge ourselves by getting the job done, not solely our words.

Over the next decade, EMR is going to change the way it operates and make this target a reality. We have called this ‘Our Decade of Action’ which includes, among other things, a commitment to switch to 100% renewable energy usage across the whole business by 2030.

The good news is that this is already happening. In the UK 85% of the electricity we use comes from renewable resources.

Through our revised vehicle leasing programme, we are currently moving to the electrification of our fleet of smaller vehicles. But this does not stop here. We have also begun to look at some of our larger vehicles too and we are in the early stages of procuring full electric and hybrid material handlers at several of our yards. These will replace existing machines that run exclusively on diesel.

These changes, which are part of a long journey, will have a direct impact on the carbon intensity of our operations.

The move EMR is making towards a sustainable future is focussed on taking direct action. We are using our most valuable business asset – the knowledge, skills and experience of our people and partners to effect change in a manner that is right for our operations, our customers, and the markets we operate in.

At a senior level, that starts with our Chief Executive, Chris Sheppard, and the Board, who have placed sustainability at the heart of our business strategy, future proofing EMR in a fast-changing industry.

Of course, it doesn’t just start and stop with the Leadership Team.  Every member of the EMR team has a role to play, because transitioning to, and maintaining a fully sustainable operation requires a big team effort and in many cases, a very different way of working. Whether it’s a crane driver adapting their skills to an electrically powered vehicle or a manager that is increasingly remote working, virtually every role within the business is likely to change in some way.

EMR has established clear targets for change by 2030 to create solid momentum in our response to climate change and create the pathway to our long term aim of carbon neutrality by 2040.

And we have one huge advantage as we seek out new ways to become sustainable. EMR works with some of the largest and most innovative companies in a range of industries. Working with firms which are evolving their own sustainable practices presents new opportunities to us, allowing us to share our expertise to bring about major change to the whole material chain.

A great example of this is our links with major vehicle manufactures Bentley Motors, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. We’re already working with them on our RECOVAS project, providing the first supply chain to re-use, repurpose or recycle electric car batteries.

These businesses are on their own journeys towards sustainability and want to create closed-loop supply chains for the materials they use – and, at EMR, we want help with that.

We will work with the design teams of our customers and partners, sharing information on the composition of our materials and providing them with the traceability they require to be better, more sustainable businesses as well.

Because EMR operates in many countries across the world and employs people from a range of communities. Our Decade of Action sets a blueprint for the leaders in our business, which will generate action across EMR.

That’s why our commitment to sustainability has to be more than just an aspiration written on a piece of paper. We could wait a decade waiting for sustainable solutions to come to us but, here at EMR, we know things need to happen much, much sooner than that.

EMR has key role to play in finding the solutions and have set out what we feel is our authentic approach in our strategy, working with others to effect lasting change across our industry and the markets in which we operate.

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