Circular Lighting Report

Fagerhult in pilot project to reuse aluminium

Fagerhult to recycle its aluminium

European lighting giant Fagerhult is exploring the recycling of its aluminium for reuse in its luminaires.

It has teamed up with specialist company Hydro Extrusion Sweden in a pilot project to test circular processes for the reuse of aluminium – focusing on efficiency and preserving the metal’s material properties.

The goal is to reuse high-quality, extruded aluminium from end-of-life luminaires in the future.

‘Many of our luminaires have an aluminium body, and we want to ensure that they can be optimally recycled without losing the quality or properties of the material,’ Niclas Thulin, head of sustainability at Fagerhult, told the Circular Lighting Report. ‘In collaboration with Hydro Extrusion Sweden, we’re now exploring how we can close the loop.’

The scheme was initiated in connection with Norwegian Property’s ambition to achieve more efficient energy use at the huge Snarøyveien 30 office building complex in Oslo.

Fagerhult then saw an opportunity to reclaim a large number of its Notor luminaires, and the possibilities of recycling and circular processes were explored.

‘Reuse was not possible, but since there were a larger number of luminaires, we wanted to make the best use of the material,’ explains Niclas Thulin. ‘When extruded aluminium luminaires are recycled, it is common for the material’s properties to undergo downgrading, and then be used in die casting, for example.

‘In this project, we wanted to close the loop and ensure the qualities of the material by allowing the original producer to process the material again.

‘The pilot project resulted in the aluminium being melted down and reshaped. Throughout the pilot project, the focus has been on circular processes and sustainable innovations.

‘The goal has been to take new steps beyond the norm and the expected – and to overcome the major challenge of recycling used extruded aluminium – while preserving material properties.’

‘Aluminium is a uniquely durable metal that can be recycled almost endlessly, but like all materials, it needs to be handled responsibly,” says Kristian Frisk, Account Manager at Hydro Extrusion Sweden.

‘Together, we were now able to recycle the equivalent of 1,300 kg of aluminium in the pilot project, but the big gain is the insights we will take to future projects.’

With a long-term perspective and an aspiration to contribute to sustainable development, Fagerhult has pushed the boundaries of what was previously possible and taken a major step towards meeting the demand for new circular solutions.

‘Together with Hydro Extrusion Sweden, we have closed the chain and demonstrated that it is possible to create new circular processes where all our aluminium luminaires can be handled circularly in the future,’ says Thulin.

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.