SP Innovation Summit Held at The Ohio State University

Hosted in collaboration with The Ohio State University on its campus in Columbus, Ohio over July 27-28, the 2022 SP Innovation Summit brought together nearly 300 representatives from automakers, tiered suppliers, service providers, government and academia to discuss key opportunities to accelerate collaborative efforts in support of industry sustainability goals.

On July 27, the Summit’s opening plenary session featured executive speakers sharing their perspectives on current industry trends and commitments related to sustainability, vehicle electrification, and new mobility technologies, along with insights on environmental sustainability opportunities and challenges presented by industry transformation. Featured speakers in the opening session included:

  • Kevin Butt, Senior Director, Environmental Sustainability, Toyota Motor North America and Chair of SP’s Board of Directors
  • Grace Wang, Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Knowledge Enterprise, The Ohio State University
  • Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, American Honda Motor Co., Inc
  • Tom Stricker, Group Vice President, Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, Toyota Motor North America
  • Stephanie Valdez Streaty, Director, Mobility R&D, Cox Automotive Mobility

In the luncheon keynote session, we were joined by two special guest speakers: Nena Shaw, Acting Division Director, Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Office of Land and Environmental Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and, Steven Boyd, Program Manager, Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains, US Department of Energy. Nena and Steven shared information on the activities of their respective agencies related to topics of interest to the automotive value chain, such as lithium-ion batteries, circular materials, domestic supply chain development, and pathways for industry collaboration.

A following panel discussion highlighted key issues in advancing responsible management of EV batteries across the lifecycle. Panelists discussed a range of opportunities across the value chain, such as responsible sourcing of critical battery materials, creating sustainable battery supply chains, building collection and logistics networks to enable circularity, and proactively preparing for potential safety challenges in managing end-of-life batteries. Featured panelists included:

  • Mark Jensen, CEO, American Resources Corporation
  • Alan Ferguson, Commercial VP, Americas, Li-Cycle
  • David Klanecky, CEO, Cirba Solutions
  • Eric Frederickson, Managing Director – Operations, Call2Recycle
  • Moderator: Vickie Lewis, President/CEO, VMX International

Throughout the first day, Summit attendees had the opportunity to participate in a series of smaller group interactive breakout sessions providing a deeper dive into topics such as carbon neutrality, circular batteries, community engagement, sustainable materials and packaging, and others. The first day’s breakout session speakers and moderators included representatives of organizations such as Automotive Recyclers Association, ATC Drivetrain, Cirba Solutions, Ford Motor Company, Magna International, Manufacture 2030, Stellantis, The Ohio State University, Toyota Motor, and VMX International.

Emily Smith, Ohio Public Affairs Director, Intel Corporation, opened the evening networking reception with a presentation of Intel’s sustainability activities and recently announced $20billion investment in new semiconductor manufacturing capacity in Ohio.

SP’s Executive Director Steve Hellem then reflected on SP’s progress and impact since its founding 20 years ago. Steve recognized and thanked Pat Beattie, Tom Murray, Rebecca Spearot, and Reg Modlin for their vision and leadership as founding members of the organization, while also recognizing other key founders who were not able to be in attendance such as Randy Leslie, Roger Strelow and Leon Richardson. He also recognized outgoing SP Board members Jim Laney, Jack Nunes and Greg Rose for their service to the organization, as well as Summit Co-Chairs Vickie Lewis and Bob Crawford for their good work in organizing the event.

A special thank you to each of our sponsors for their support of this year’s event, including: The Ohio State University, ERA Environmental Management Solutions, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Covanta Environmental Solutions, Edison Energy, Ecobat, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, ARPLANK Direct, Stellantis, and Toyota Tsusho America.

All event photos by Shellee Fisher Photography.

Stay tuned for part two, with more details on the next day’s Summit sessions.

SP’s next membership meeting is scheduled to be held on October 26-27 in Georgetown, Kentucky. As always, SP members and collaborators are encouraged to reach out to learn more about how to get involved in SP work group activities and initiatives and to share your ideas to keep moving us toward our shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact.

Additional information on the Summit, including event photos, presentations and next steps, is available to current SP member companies. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about SP and opportunities to participate as a member.

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