In the early 1900’s, British car manufacturers were at the forefront of motor vehicle development. The Vulcan Motor company, based in Southport, England, was one such innovator that produced cars from 1902 until the late 1920s. Today, early examples of Vulcan cars are extremely rare collectors’ items. NovaCast was approached by a specialist engineering company … Read more
NovaCast operates within an industry that has been far from sustainable over the years. Although metal casting itself can play a significant role in delivering sustainability through its ability to recycle used metals over and over again, the practices within this most traditional of industries, have been slow to evolve and embrace new thinking with regard to the environment. Waste, pollution, high energy usage, toxic emissions and the like have been the norm for many years but companies with more enlightened leadership, such as NovaCast, are starting to show how things can be done differently, and better.
NovaCast: Supporting global water and sanitation charities
Read about NovaCast’s ongoing support for the Planet Water Foundation, Xylem’s Watermark and Wash4Work…
The path to a more sustainable business
For NovaCast, the starting point was to invest in technology that would deliver castings using less raw materials and energy, taking less time to produce, while delivering better component performance and lower costs for customers.
Design Technology: 3D modelling and casting simulation software enables the foundry design engineering team to influence the design process at a much earlier stage – suggesting design modifications or combining multiple assemblies into a single, more efficient casting that can take weight, materials, and cost out of components while improving performance.
Running digital casting simulations make it possible to identify casting issues or potential defects before a pattern had been made. This cuts down the number of pattern modifications needed and reduces time and resources in producing cast prototypes.
Rapid Prototyping: NovaCast produces rapid prototypes using additive technology (3D Printing) that reduces the need for patterns to be made in the traditional way, and uses 3D scanning of existing components to enable reverse engineering. Both lead to greater production efficiencies, design improvements and lower use of resources.
Process Improvements: Adapting or changing other aspects of the production process has delivered environmental impact improvements or reduced the resources used:
- Recycling of sand used in the sand-casting process means that the majority of the sand used is now recycled.
- A greater proportion of the metal used in the castings is re-cycled rather than from virgin raw materials resulting in less upstream energy usage and environmental damage, and less landfill on the downstream side.
- Modern fluxes are now manufactured to reduce toxic sulphur dioxide and fluoride emissions by up to 85% without a significant loss in performance.
Management Systems: Recent investment in the Synchro ERP system has allowed the business to have far greater control, understanding and clarity, while investment in UKAS ISO9001 accreditation has imposed quality disciplines and monitoring throughout the company.
Sustainability in action: From a practical point of view, NovaCast has moved to a position where nothing from the business is now sent to landfill – everything is either recycled or sent to a biofuel centre with full traceability. Improvements in monitoring and the company’s energy policy will see further improvements in NovaCast’s sustainability rating over the coming months. This commitment is demonstrated by the switch to an electricity supplier that guarantees that 100% of the electricity supplied is from renewable sources.
From a sustainability perspective, it is important to be able to monitor, measure and benchmark where the business is in relation to the industry as a whole and to put in place a plan that will deliver real progress. To this end, NovaCast has engaged with EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of sustainability ratings. Engaging with an organisation of this kind allows NovaCast to demonstrate its commitment to a sustainable future, to benchmark itself against the industry as a whole, and to monitor its own progress against targets. And by sharing this data throughout its network, NovaCast can use its influence to drive positive change in other companies, just as its own customers are increasingly doing. After its first full year NovaCast has improved its sustainability rating by 61% and now sits just outside the to 5% of companies reporting on the EcoVadis platform.
NovaCast further demonstrates its commitment to engaging with organisations focussed on improving our environment by reporting its scope 1, 2 & 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the GHG Protocol and reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project.
NovaCast has engaged in the WASH campaign that promotes Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene standards through www.wash4work.org. The focus of the organisation is global access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education which can reduce illness and death from disease, leading to improved health, poverty reduction, and socio-economic development. It is also a standard that companies need to implement in their own workplaces and, through testing of its workforce, NovaCast has already identified and addressed water quality issues it its own foundry that would not have been identified had it not been for its engagement in the WASH pledge.
Certified 100% Renewable Electricity
By its nature, a foundry is an energy-intensive business so the choice of energy supplier is a critical decision when considering the carbon footprint of the business moving forwards. As part of our commitment to sustainability, NovaCast has taken the opportunity to engage with an energy supplier that guarantees 100% of the electricity it supplies is from renewable sources (wind, solar and hydro). You can view our Renewable Electricity Commitment Certificate here.
Make it NET ZERO Carbon Report
NovaCast has been working with SWMAS consultants to calculate a verified carbon footprint through the Make it zero programme with the objective of implementing positive improvements to help work towards its net zero goals.
It was agreed that SWMAS would support NovaCast in reviewing its scope 1 and 2 measurements for the baseline year, and create a full report in respect of Scope 1 and 2. It was also agreed to review the data that has been collected in relation to achieving a total footprint, including the 15 categories within scope 3.
Your can view the full Make it NET ZERO Carbon Report here.