The Renault Group has reaffirmed its commitment to promote a circular economy throughout all its manufacturing processes, by renewing its partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Originally forged in 2010 – the same year that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation was founded – the partnership between the two will mean a shift from the current linear economy model of production, which utilises finite materials from the earth to produce and manufacture vehicles, to a circular economy model, which places an emphasis on recycling and reusing materials.
The circular economy, which ensures that all materials stay inside the production process, therefore almost eradicating waste, is an economic model which is being adopted on production lines the world over – with Renault being the first carmaker to incorporate the circular economy model into its manufacturing process. The move by Renault means that it is on target to meet all its future mobility needs in the context of increasingly scarce natural resources. The move has already seen the French carmaker generate half a billion euros per year through its recycling and manufacturing processes.
The ground-breaking partnership between Renault and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation came about following the two sides believing ion the benefits of transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular model to preserve the earth’s natural resources and ecosystems, which in turn will secure the long-term future for companies such as Renault.
As one of the founding partners of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at its inception, Renault’s environmental framework and its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint is the result of years of conversations and meetings between the two parties. Dialogue between the two has sought out new technical solutions, processes and circular economy models which takes its influence from nature itself, where there is no waste and everything is reused composted and digested.
Renault’s priority is placed on replacing raw materials, based on natural resources, by ‘secondary’ materials made from recycled goods. The company has also created repairable vehicles that are easy to dismantle and contain recyclable and recoverable materials. Renault reuses parts which come from its end of life vehicles, sales networks, plants or suppliers. There are 330,000 end of life vehicles repurposed per year.
The manufacturer has created a recycling process into being, since using secondary materials in the car manufacturing process is subject to its availability and quality. Its short recycling loop entitled, ‘looping the loop’ means that recycling can be carried out on an infinite basis since it preserves the material capital of all the parts of a vehicle. A good example is the copper recycling process which means that wire brought in from the dismantler’s end of life vehicles is processed to remove the copper, which is of high enough quality to meet demanding technical specifications and replace raw or post-industrial material.
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