It is difficult to speculate on the experiences of others over the last eighteen months. But ‘strange’ is probably a good starting point. We’ve moved from pandemic to ‘pingdemic’ and now seem to be suffering from the effects of ‘long-Covid’ and ‘long-Brexit’ as staff and skills shortages begin to affect the daily fabric of life and public services amongst others, begin to suffer. Our headlines are now filled with news of the lack of drivers to fulfil basic roles or of empty supermarket shelves. Strange indeed. I can’t be the only one grappling with the reality that a world in which any good, any service could seemingly be readily attained, could in fact be a thing of the past. Is this the new normal we have been hearing about?

Supply chains, indeed many services are lean activities, pared down to the bone to ensure efficiency and cost effectiveness. Interruption like a ripple on a pond resonates widely. Moreover, it is not as if this is the only thing going on, as we see multiple challenges, political and economic, social and environmental in the UK and more widely. Ever the optimist, is this the opportunity to invest in significant, systemic change – reconfiguring the systems we rely on to place goals of sustainability equality and resilience at their heart? Novelis believes so and we have recently set out our ambition to be the world’s leading provider of low-carbon, sustainable aluminium solutions that advance our business, industry and society toward the benefits of a circular economy. The cornerstone of this ambition is to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner and reduce our carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2026.

Like the challenges we face, ours is a multifaceted response. As the largest, most technologically advanced aluminium recycler in the world, we accept the responsibility of playing a leading role in the global effort to achieve a low-carbon and circular economy and to address the challenges brought on by climate change. We commit to become a fully circular business by ensuring that we process aluminium in a sustainable manner and ultimately recycle it into new high-quality products. Equally, we are committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce through established targets that increase the number of women in senior leadership and technical roles to foster the next generation of female scientists and engineers.

Sustainability has always been a core part of our business, and with these new commitments, we can now move even faster and take bolder actions to create a more circular business model to further ensure the health and well-being of the environment, the safety of our people, and the long-term success of the communities in which we live and work.

What remains constant is our symbiotic relationship with local authorities and those that collect, sort and ultimately transport the precious used aluminium cans that form a significant part of our circular business credentials. To that end, we remain proud sponsors of the annual LARAC Conference and would be delighted to welcome you to our stand at the upcoming ‘physical’ event in early October. With no disrespect to the people and community of Birmingham, I have never been so excited before to get out and about to their fair city and engage in some face to face discussions for a change! So please pop by for a chat, I should be easy to spot – I’ll be the one looking dazed and confused at the challenges of ‘non-zoom’ conversations, but also appropriately dressed from the waist down.