Just days after its former owner, Ford, announced it recycles as much as 20m pounds of stamping scrap each month using a closed-loop system at its Dearborn Truck Plant, now-Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover said it had reclaimed over 50,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap, the equivalent weight of 200,000 XE body shells, back into the production process during 2015/16.

This the automaker claimed, had prevented over 500,000 tonnes of "CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere by not using primary aluminium material".

JLR's pioneering recycled aluminium project is called 'REALCAR'.

The project involves 11 UK press shops implementing, like Ford in Dearborn, a closed-loop, which segregates waste aluminium scrap so it can be sent back into production to be re-melted into recycled aluminium sheet for use in JLR vehicles, most of which now have some percentage of aluminium in either base structure or hinged panels such as bonnets (hoods). 

The JLR-led research project, part funded by Innovate UK, also saw the development of a recycled aluminium-based alloy which can accept a higher percentage of the recovered scrap. In 2014, the Jaguar XE was claimed to be the first car in the world to use this innovative high-strength aluminium alloy, developed by project partner Novelis.

Over GBP7m has been spent at JLR's in-house press shops at Halewood (which builds Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque on a shared platform), Castle Bromwich (Jaguar XF, F-Type, F-Pace, XJ) and Solihull (Range Rovers, Jaguar XE) press shops to install intricate segregation systems to capture and distribute the aluminium scrap for re-melting, reducing waste, retaining higher quality and value in the material.

Recovering aluminium in this way offers huge sustainability benefits, with aluminium recycling requiring up to 95% less energy than primary aluminium production, JLR said in a statement.

Group engineering director Nick Rogers said: "Innovation is at the heart of everything we do. We are driven by the desire to produce increasingly world-class, light-weight, vehicles, but we also want to be world leading in how we build them."

"Innovative projects such as REALCAR demonstrate our commitment to meeting our sustainability challenges head-on. Its success so far marks a significant step towards our goal of having up to 75% recycled aluminium content in our vehicle body structures by 2020."

The structural grade of recycled aluminium has since been tested and introduced in the lightweight aluminium bodies of new XF and F-Pace.

REALCAR is part of Jaguar Land Rover's "circular economy strategy to improve resource efficiency across the business", JLR added.