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REALCAR project circular economy case study: Collaboration for a closed-loop value chain

January 2016 – This closed-loop case study explores the lessons learnt from the REALCAR closed loop value chain project between Jaguar Land Rover, Novelis, Innovate UK and partners, in the creation of new materials and production systems to introduce closed-loop aluminium into Jaguar Land Rover cars.

Collaboration for a closed-loop value chain – Case Study coverDownload the case study: Collaboration for a closed-loop value chain

Under increasing pressure to optimise the use of man-made materials, Jaguar Land Rover started using aluminium in its vehicles' bodies to reduce weight and tailpipe emissions and improve fuel consumption. However, with aluminium more energy-intensive to produce, the manufacturer needed a new method to reduce costs and environmental impact during production. Its material supplier Novelis also had a long-standing commitment to increasing its use of recycled materials year-on-year and required a like-minded customer with a similar appetite for improving sustainability performance. 

Whilst the case study focuses on the REALCAR project, its findings are applicable to the creation and transformation of all value chains and other collaborative circular economy projects. Companies in other sectors that embrace ‘circular’ supply chains/value chains can benefit from the understanding and application of the insights presented here.

The study was undertaken and authored by a group of employees from Jaguar Land Rover and Novelis whilst attending the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains (PCSVC)*.

Key learning points

Material suitability and innovation

There must be high confidence about the across-the-board suitability of the material selected for a closed loop.

Establishing a value chain network

Traditional transactional supply chain thinking must be replaced by a value chain approach in which partners work in true collaboration to achieve goals for all parties. It is essential that a thorough communications and engagement plan for each stakeholder is in place.

Progressive leadership

Unwavering support and advocacy at a senior level provides confidence and momentum – and a forum to help remove roadblocks.


*The Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains (PCSVC) is a nine month, part-time Masters-level academic programme for individuals and groups seeking to embed sustainability into supply/value chains. Find out more.

Published: January 2016

About the report

This report explores the lessons learnt from the REALCAR closed-loop value chain project between Jaguar Land Rover, Novelis, Innovate UK and other industrial, academic and funding partners. The publication was generated following attendance on CISL’s Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains. A full list of authors is included in the report.

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Disclaimer

The opinions, conclusions and data expressed here do not represent an official position of, or endorsement by the Institute or the wider University of Cambridge.