It’s all about the connections….
By anybody’s standards, 2020 has been a year without compare. Covid-19 has dominated and looks set to remain an ever-present issue for the foreseeable future. Faced with such challenges in all walks of life people have had to think the unthinkable and then make it rapidly happen. The reality is that our very way of life is likely to be profoundly changed forever, be that ‘Zoom’ calls with the grandparents or more home-based working. Of course, resource management has its own particular challenges in the Covid era and maybe now we can reflect on the ‘zero to hero’ transformation that has occurred in the public’s mind, as key workers in society are finally acknowledged. Let’s hope it lasts.  
Supply chains by their nature are only as strong as their weakest link and in recent times we have all seen how disruption in one area can bring the whole system to a halt. For example, flour was in demand but not short in supply – the rapid switch from commercial-sized to domestic-sized consumption and packaging needs exceeded the immediate supply chain capabilities.  In the world of beverage packaging, I am pleased to reflect that as a company Novelis remained connected and operational throughout ‘Lockdown’ and the closed loop system that converts valuable used aluminium drinks cans back into new food packaging was sustained. With a UK-based reprocessing plant and near Europe finishing process our overall supply chain is ‘short’ by global standards and proved remarkably resilient to the upset conditions of 2020. Our connections held out, in no small part due to our valued local-authority and private sector partners who maintained recycling collections – Thank You!
Looking to the future is a challenge right now; this is the beginning of the decade that we earmarked for getting our climate on track towards net zero carbon by 2050 and making progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Which will now play out in a new way, where the possibility for transformational change takes on a whole new range of possibilities. On many levels, this could be the opportunity to shape the future we want to see, not just respond to it.  At least I hope so. For the aluminium can we will continue to push towards full circularity, 100% recycling as that is the right thing to do. To achieve this, one final connection to be reinforced, is between us and the ‘consumer on the go’ (a seemingly a different animal to the homebound domestic breed). Post-lockdown pictures of waste left behind by unleashed householders sadly confirm this. As a sector we will continue to collaborate through our Every Can Counts campaign and wish to connect to you to push on. To that end I can only encourage you to check out some of the recent activities held in Brighton and think what we could do with you []
So finally on the theme of connections, in a year when so much has gone on-line or become virtual – so has the LARAC conference! As a long time LARAC supporter, Novelis is delighted to be a sponsor and ‘present’ at the event. To be honest I have little idea what that means in practice at this stage, but by 14/15 October we look forward to embracing yet another new way to connect. So maybe see you in a chat room or virtual booth, so long as my broadband connection holds out!