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Taking circular economy seriously at Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover provides an understanding of its business model when it comes to the value in recyclability of its vehicles.


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Figure 1: Aluminium Ingots produced from end-of-life vehicle scrap as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s REALITY project

At Jaguar Land Rover, we are driven by our vision to create the world’s most desirable luxury vehicles, whilst placing sustainability at the centre of everything we do – from design to engineering, from supply chain to manufacturing processes. 

Embracing the circular economy, through efficient resource consumption and reusing and recycling wherever possible, is a core component of this. 

We are increasingly aware of the value and impact of our vehicles beyond our customers. As an industry, we have a legal obligation through End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) legislation to ensure our vehicles are designed to be at least 85% recyclable and 95% recoverable by mass. We publish vehicle data into the International Dismantling Information System (IDIS) to ensure ATFs have the required information to depollute our vehicles. However, we have a desire to go further than this, and push the boundaries of end-of-life recovery to make products more circular, as part of our Reimagine strategy which aims to achieve net zero carbon status by 2039 across our products, operations, and supply chain. 

All materials have value, and by making them easier to recover, that value is maintained, enabling recyclers to achieve a purer stream of material. By enabling improvement through design and engineering, vehicle manufacturers can utilise that value and reduce dependency on virgin raw materials – a crucial element on our path towards a more sustainable product. This has never been more essential as our vehicles become more complex and we move towards even greater levels of electrification. 

At Jaguar Land Rover, we’ve embedded processes into our design phase to look at how hazardous materials, such as fluids and batteries, can be easily and safely removed at end-of-life. We’ve also collaborated with depollution tool manufacturers to bring this assessment into the virtual world before a vehicle has even rolled off the production line. This helps to identify best practice at an early stage and avoid engineering vehicles that add increased complexity and cost to end-of-life recovery. 

While virtual assessments have many advantages, we also conduct physical assessments at ATFs, or locally within Jaguar Land Rover’s workshops, once prototype vehicles are available, ensuring that the real and virtual world are not too far apart. 

By assessing the entire value chain, the automotive industry can also increase end-of-life value through collaborative projects. Jaguar Land Rover has collaborated with academia, raw material suppliers and end-of-life operators on a range of sustainability projects; for example, REALITY, which looked at how we can upcycle scrap aluminium from post-consumer sources, such as end-of-life vehicles, to feed back into the supply chain. This research has been used to develop new grades of high-quality material that can be used in the next generation of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, with the potential to reduce alloy production CO2 emissions by up to 26 per cent compared to the current automotive grade. By committing to targeted projects such as REALITY, which aims to truly close the loop on a premium high-quality material stream, we can create added value, avoid downcycling, and further aid Jaguar Land Rover’s sustainable goals.

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Figure 2: REALITY project high level process overview

The avoidance of waste stream contamination and improved material separation technologies are key challenges to the industry to ensure these projects industrialise. 

By learning from end-of-life operators and utilising new science and technology, we can begin to rise to these challenges through design. Balancing these with a vehicle that is designed to last for as long as possible is not an easy task. However, Jaguar Land Rover will actively engage with ATFs to continue to learn from the industry and work together towards a more circular economy.

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