SP Q2 2021 Membership Meeting – Part 2

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) Q2 Membership Meeting was held as a virtual event over April 27-29, 2021. SP’s quarterly membership meetings are designed to provide a forum for global automotive manufacturers, their large and small suppliers, and other partners from around the world to work together toward a shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact.

Building on a series of discussions on long-term automotive industry environmental sustainability goals in SP’s recent quarterly membership meetings, this quarter’s meetings focused in on sustainable materials goals and actions within the industry. 

The final day of the meeting began with presentations from expert guest speakers sharing their perspectives on current and emerging sustainable materials issues and leading practices from beyond the auto industry.

Nena Shaw (US EPA) began with a discussion of EPA’s sustainable materials management efforts, existing tools, resources and collaborations available to support companies in advancing sustainable materials management, and EPA’s work on the national recycling goal and strategy.

Susan Robinson (Waste Management) then discussed WM’s sustainability goals and examples of actions the waste and recycling industry is taking to reduce emissions and support investments in enhancing domestic recycling of materials. She then discussed recycling’s role in a circular economy and considerations in building demand for recycled input materials across sectors.

Matthew Naud and Bill Hall (RRS) concluded the morning session with overview of the NextCycle Michigan initiative developed by Michigan EGLE to support innovation and investment in circular economy models in Michigan. They discussed the initiative’s innovation pathways to attract investment and provide more opportunities to identify and incubate ideas that grow Michigan’s recycled materials supply chain and end markets.

The session continued with presentations from SP member companies sharing their perspectives and approaches to sustainable materials, and examples of initiatives their companies are leading to advance those efforts today.

Kellen Mahoney (SP) began with an overview of several SP working group efforts related to sustainable materials, including its materials efficiency work group, responsible battery work group and technology and innovation advisory council. He shared recent resources SP has published through these work groups, including sustainable packaging guidelines and EV battery recycling resources, and previewed new collaborative workstreams the group is leading to advance sustainable materials.

Phil Cozad (Honda) discussed Honda’s lithium-ion battery circularity strategy and established processes for collecting, reusing and recycling of lithium-ion batteries in North America. Alissa Yakali (Honda) then provided another perspective in relation to ethical sourcing considerations for the automotive supply chain.

John Crowell (Magna) introduced Magna’s sustainability goals related to its people, products and processes, including the company’s recently announced targets to achieve carbon neutrality in its global operations. Parvinder Walia (Magna Exteriors) then discussed use of materials science innovation in support of the sustainability strategy and shared examples of Magna’s sustainable materials approach with regard to its Exteriors business.

Stephanie Valdez Streaty (Cox Automotive) provided an overview of Cox’s carbon, water and waste goals, and reviewed the company’ objectives, strategies and progress in striving for zero waste including examples of successful sustainable materials management projects across Cox Automotive operations.

The session provided attendees a view of different perspectives of sustainable materials from points along the automotive value chain and beyond, together with examples and best practices on implementing a sustainable materials management strategy. These items will continue to be discussed and addressed through ongoing SP work group initiatives as SP members strive to eliminate waste and optimize use of sustainable materials in automotive operations and products.

Check out part one for more details on the prior Q2 meeting sessions.

SP’s next quarterly membership meeting is scheduled to be held as a virtual event on July 27-29, 2021. 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 Q2 meeting discussions, 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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