We started this project in mid-December 2019. As already mentioned in the first article on this topic, we have already switched the simple things like the electricity we buy to climate-friendly electricity from hydropower. So this is about further data collection, on our way to climate neutrality.
The production of the Merus Rings
We purchase the unfinished aluminium parts. Therefore we do not have our own machinery for metal processing, but we use companies in the local area that specialise in metal processing. In the southwest of Germany there are many such companies, which mainly supply the car industry.
From the beginning Merus relied on short distances to the suppliers. As in our opinion it makes little sense to buy the material in Asia or America, to refine it in Germany and then send it back overseas.
The actual purchase of the raw material is done by our suppliers. The quantities of aluminium are too small for us to influence where the bauxite is mined and processed into aluminium.
For our project "climate neutrality" we use average values for aluminium production for the route of the raw material. This means that the data relating to energy for aluminium production and transport to our supplier are determined in this way. We calculate the machine times ourselves, i.e. how much power the lathes or CNC milling cutters need to produce our Merus Rings.
As one of the last process steps, the rings are electroplated. During this process the raw aluminium is covered with a protective layer. This is necessary so that the rings are insensitive to corrosion during their later use. We have therefore calculated the surfaces to be treated and found that the power consumption for this process is negligible.
We will publish the exact figures for the manufacturing process later when we have all the information.
The laser marking of the Merus Rings, i.e. the logo and the serial number, is done with electricity from 100% renewable energy and therefore does not have to be included in our CO2 - calculation.
The refinement of the Merus Rings
At the end of the manufacturing process, Merus receives the rings ready to go. What is still missing is the finishing. The process step in which an aluminum ring becomes a Merus ring.
This process takes place exclusively in-house. And as mentioned above, we obtain 100% renewable energy from hydropower.
The way to the customer
Merus Rings are sent around the world. In 2019, the longest journey was a shipment from Merus to Buenos Aires, Argentina. That is a distance of about 11000 km.
But we also have deliveries that are climate neutral. These are customers from Sindelfingen, who come by and pick up their ring when they have been to the weekly market in front of our door. But the self-pickups are very few.
For our calculation we distinguish between 2 types of shipping. Either by truck or by plane. Most deliveries are made by a parcel service. Large deliveries on pallets by forwarding agencies.
For deliveries within Germany we have assumed a distance of 300 km and a delivery by road. For deliveries to Europe for distances up to approx. 1000 km, we also assume a transport by road. Whereby we calculate these deliveries exactly, from Merus in Sindelfingen to the address of our dealer in the respective country.
We are not able to follow the routes of Merus Rings abroad.
Now some numbers
In 2019 we sold Merus rings with a total weight of 1132.3 kg. If all these rings would have had the size ½", we would have sent nearly 6000 rings. If they had been 30" inches, however, we would have sent only 40 rings. The truth is somewhere in between, as usual.
We sent 217 deliveries by road and 61 deliveries by air freight:
That's 384.5 ton kilometers on the road. In the air, 4520.2 ton kilometers. And two or three were done on foot.
Ton kilometers - abbreviated tkm - is the transported weight multiplied by the distance. Together, the Merus Rings produced 4904.7 tkm in 2019.
We expect to be able to complete the survey of the figures by the middle of the second quarter. Then we will present the total amount of CO2 produced.