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Sustainable Sourcing: The Role of Metals in Eco-friendly Manufacturing

Published by Lucy Thurston on

Metals_in Eco-friendly_Manufacturing

As world leaders jet into global conferences such as COP28 on their private planes in a bid to save the world from climate emergencies, the industry is quietly getting on with the everyday business of changing its processes and procedures to be more sustainable and reduce its overall environmental impact. Steel suppliers, aluminium suppliers, producers, smelters, miners, innovators – at every stage of the supply chain, changes are being implemented to help cleaner processes.

The metal industry has long since recognised its role in affecting climate change. The Industrial Revolution heralded the start of centuries’ worth of debate over the impact of burning fossil fuels, adding to the amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Great strides have already been made over the last half-century. Great thought has been put into cleaning up manufacturing processes to clean up the environment, and stringent city centre regulations have reduced the amount of pollution in the air, making them healthier and more pleasant places to live for the next generation of families living in urban areas.

Aluminium Suppliers – A Recycling Success Story

When it comes to sustainability, aluminium suppliers have long understood the remarkably recyclable properties of aluminium. In fact, according to the Aluminium Association, about 75 per cent of all aluminium that has ever been produced – an estimated 700 million tonnes – is still in use to this day, as it can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing any of its properties.

The aluminium industry is a prime example of how its sustainability has been embraced throughout the supply chain. Google ‘aluminium suppliers near me’, and you will find dozens of responsible companies who run profitable, successful businesses that have continued to improve in the recycling and sustainability of this sector.

Sustainable Steel Suppliers Near Me, Recycling Steel

Long before the birth of Rory Graham, aka famous singer Rag’n’Bone Man, the rag and bone industry would fill the streets with callouts for ‘any old iron’. They represented the very bottom of the metal food chain, circulating the streets with a pull cart, picking up anything that householders threw out as rubbish. Metal was the most precious commodity they could pick up, delivering it to smelters that would melt it down into reusable blocks. Scrap metal throughout the world is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is the living embodiment of optimising the use of existing metals. In the UK alone, it is worth £5.6 billion annually and employs over 8000 people.

Cast Iron Suppliers UK – Sustainability and Recycling

As with aluminium, cast iron can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing any of its properties. But when you consider the strength and durability of cast iron as a metal, its overall lifecycle can span decades, if not longer. Consider that cast iron is often used within the infrastructure of a building. Many buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s incorporated metal within their design and architecture – and that metal is still there, still performing its designed function and looking as good and fresh as it did 100-plus years ago.

Brass Suppliers – Contributing to the Recycling Ethos

Brass is a copper-based alloy, which is why brass suppliers have long invested in recycling this metal for both its positive environmental and economic impact. Recycling brass is less energy-intensive, which is why a copper supplier will proactively commit to a recycling ethos.

Reducing Energy Costs in Metal Processing

Trials and research have demonstrated that across the four main metal types – steel, copper, aluminium, and lead -it takes less energy to recycle and reuse these metals than it does to extract and process them from new (up to 89 per cent less in some cases).

This has an obvious environmental impact. Less waste is ending up in landfill sites, and natural resources, which are in constant danger of running out, are protected. These natural resources also experience less damage caused due to excessive mining. Habitats are protected, land degradation is reduced, water pollution is mitigated, and the reduction in energy use leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking a Responsible Stance When Finding a ‘Steel Supplier Near Me’

The tradition of recycling in the metal industry long predates the now trending topics of sustainability that are heralded in the media as working towards the protection of the earth. While it has been much maligned as a major contributor to climate change and the processing of metals, it has undergone intense evolution and innovation to get to the point where it can stand proud when it comes to sustainability.

When seeking out steel suppliers near me and negotiating with aluminium suppliers, engaging in conversations around energy efficiency and the environment will indicate a deeply engrained commitment to these practices.

If you want to know more, contact us at Rapid Metals to discover more about how the company is committed to its role in protecting the environment.

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Sustainable Sourcing: The Role of Metals in Eco-friendly Manufacturing

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