The company was honoured for its exclusive use of recycled aluminium in casting its engine blocks

The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) has recognised Mercury Marine’s aluminium use processes with a Sustainable Process Award.

The company, which smelts its own aluminium at its Fond du Lac, Wisconsin headquarters, received the award for its exclusive use of recycled aluminium in casting its engine blocks, avoiding the adverse environmental impact of bauxite ore mining for prime aluminium. Discarded vehicle wheels, wiring, and scrap from Brunswick Boat Group operations, among other sources, are melted and purified for use in Mercury’s castings.

The sustainability goes beyond just reusing metal. The energy required to melt aluminum scrap is approximately only five percent of that required to create prime aluminum from bauxite ore, and emits only 5 percent of greenhouse gases emitted in aluminum production.

“We’re certainly not the only manufacturer to use aluminum in building engine blocks but, as this award attests, Mercury does stand out in how we strive to be environmentally responsible and derive the maximum sustainable benefit from our use of this material,” said Scott Louks, Mercury sustainability manager.

In addition, Mercury uses less energy in melting aluminum by recycling the heat generated by the melting furnaces to preheat metal to be melted, resulting in a 20 percent saving in natural gas used, saving about nine billion BTUs of energy each year, which equates to nearly 73,000 gallons of gasoline, according to a company news release.

Mercury Marine has focused on improving sustainability across its manufacturing processes for more than a decade under its four pillars of its sustainability mission: Energy, Environment, Product and People.