SP Members Meet in Warren, Michigan
SP’s 4th quarterly membership meeting of 2023 was held on September 18-19 in Warren, Michigan, bringing together over 175 representatives from the automotive value chain.
The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) provides a forum for global automotive manufacturers and their suppliers to work together toward a shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact. SP’s quarterly membership meetings provide an opportunity for members to connect and share environmental sustainability best practices and strategies with industry peers, learn about emerging issues impacting the environment and their business operations, and identify new opportunities for collaborative action.
September 18 – Work Group Meetings
Working meetings of several SP work groups were held on September 18, followed by an evening networking dinner, including:
- Responsible Battery Work Group Meeting. SP’s responsible battery work group provides a forum to promote information exchange on challenges and opportunities related to end of life management of advanced batteries and to identify opportunities for strategic pre-competitive collaboration across the value chain to advance best practices in responsible management of such batteries. This meeting included presentations from 6K Energy, Nalco Water and Labelmaster, along with a group discussion on emerging EV battery management challenges and opportunities.
- Carbon Neutrality Roundtable. SP’s carbon neutrality work group is working on improving consistency and comparability of industry carbon reporting methods, while exploring opportunities for collaboration on common tools and resources to accelerate action. Through small group breakout discussions, attendees shared input and ideas to help shape new and expanded SP guidance, resources and initiatives in this area.
- ESG Leadership Strategies. SP’s ESG Leadership Strategies project has focused this year on internal-facing, action-oriented leadership tools and strategies to deliver effective ESG-related internal communications and build engagement to address differing perspectives within organizations. This interactive workshop built on those discussions to date and focused on developing a roadmap of the journey to ESG maturity, utilizing all the experience sets in the room.
September 19 — Membership Meeting
On September 19, the SP membership meeting opened with welcoming comments from Kevin Butt, Toyota Motor and Chair of SP’s Board of Directors. Kevin began by recognizing and thanking Rae Howard of General Motors for her leadership and service as a member of SP’s Board of Directors from 2019 – 2023. He then introduced and welcomed Fred Gersdorff of General Motors as a new member of SP’s Board.
Next, Steven Tomaszewski of General Motors provided opening keynote remarks. Steven spoke to GM’s vision and long-term sustainability goals and highlighted examples of technologies and innovations GM is implementing in its operations and products in support of that vision.
The meeting continued with presentations from a range of speakers regarding environmental sustainability trends, best practices and opportunities, including:
- Kellen Mahoney (Suppliers Partnership) introduced a new Scope 3 Maturity Benchmarking partnership between SP, the Scope 3 Peer Group and Proxima. He invited all SP members to request an invitation to participate in the new benchmarking initiative. Kellen also reviewed a recently released SP Water Stewardship Strategy Framework and outlined SP’s planned next steps and opportunities for membership engagement.
- Sam Hinton (Ricardo) discussed emerging policy trends and technical approaches related to LCA and opportunities for companies in the sector to understand and prepare for future expectations.
- Matt Maroon (C-Motive Technologies) discussed opportunities to support industrial decarbonization through electrification of motors and introduced C-Motive’s technology and approach.
- Laura Clendenin (Eaton) introduced Eaton’s sustainability goals and walked through the methodology the company used in developing its Scope 3 category 11 product use phase calculations.
- Bridget Grewal (Magna), Matt Marshall (Toyota) and Suzanne Fisher (RRS / Fisher Packaging) reviewed the work of SP’s sustainable packaging work group and provided an update on the progress of SP’s EGLE grant project focused on automotive packaging recycling in Michigan.
- Clint Thompson (Nexus Circular) provided an introduction to advanced recycling in comparison to traditional mechanical recycling and highlighted opportunities advanced recycling can provide to address certain historically challenging to recycle plastic waste streams.
- Amy Smith (WWF) discussed the environmental and social impacts associated with rubber production and introduced WWF’s work on partnership solutions to eliminate deforestation in rubber supply chains.
- Patricia Billette (WHC) provided a report on the results of a WHC / SP EPA P2 grant project and highlighted opportunities for the automotive industry to implement nature based solutions to pollution prevention.
- Sarah Tea (GM) spoke to the concept of the circular economy and the lessons nature provides, sharing examples from GM’s business and from the natural world to illustrate how key circularity can be applied.
During the meeting, SP’s 2023 Awards were presented recognizing environmental sustainability leadership within the automotive value chain. SP was pleased to recognize the awardees, including:
- Creativity in Implementing Sustainable Practices Award: Arkema
- Demonstrating Environmental Innovation in the Manufacturing Process Award: UBQ Materials / Polyram / Conmet
- Shining Star Award: Jeff Haltrecht, Call2Recycle
- Shining Star Award: Jeremy Galanty, General Motors
- Shining Star Award: Matt Marshall, Toyota Motor NA
- Spirit of SP Award: Vickie Lewis, VMX International
Award Photo Credit: Aurora Photos LLC
Additional information on the membership meeting discussions, presentations and next steps is available to current SP member companies. SP’s next quarterly membership meeting will be held on January 31 – February 1, 2024 at Toyota Motor North America in Plano, TX. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about SP and opportunities to participate as a member.