Interview with Patric Steeg

on the RONAL-Re project

Date: 11. June 2024

Recycling is an important aspect of sustainability at the RONAL GROUP. Our most frequently used raw material, aluminum, in particular causes a lot of CO2 emissions. Patric Steeg, Sustainability Manager at RONAL GmbH in Forst, has been the new project manager of the RONAL-Re (RONAL Aluminum Wheel Recycling) project since February 2024. In an interview, he answers questions about the RONAL-Re project and his role on the RONAL Sustainability Committee.

What exactly is the RONAL-Re project?

Patric Steeg: The RONAL-Re project is about reducing our carbon footprint by focusing on recycled aluminum for production. This should prepare us for the goal of CO2 neutrality from 2050.

What is the current status of the project?

Patric Steeg: We are currently in phase 2 of the project. We have set ourselves the goal of switching from purchasing 100% primary aluminum to 70% primary and 30% secondary aluminum by 2027/28. We are also currently planning how we can recycle our own aluminum scrap ourselves and no longer have to sell it.

At the moment, our aim is to obtain customer approval for our plants in Spain and the Czech Republic so that we can start mass production there using secondary material from our aluminum supplier Eccomelt. We are also in the process of planning with our primary aluminum supplier Hydro so that we can also source secondary aluminum there.

What does the project team currently look like?

Patric Steeg: We have a wide variety of people working on the project across different departments. These include people from Operations, Infrastructure, Quality, Finance, Aluminum Purchasing, Supply Chain Planning and Sales, as well as the technical project manager.

You are also on the Sustainability Committee. What are your tasks there?

Patric Steeg: I represent the sales side by integrating customer specifications into sustainability planning and putting my own ideas into practice. For example, I want to work with Operations and the Infrastructure department to ensure that we can move away from natural gas and switch to green alternatives.

Another big issue is CO2 taxation. We are calculating whether it makes sense to replace certain machines and switch to electricity or whether we should rely on the old gas machines and pay a higher CO2 tax.

Various topics relating to the environment, social and governance (ESG), the processing of this data and the general reduction of CO2 are also part of my remit on the Sustainability Committee.

Last question, which is your favorite wheel in the RONAL range?

Patric Steeg: The one I ride myself: the RONAL R71 in Orbit grey-matt-front diamond cut.