SP Q2 Meeting Held in Alabama

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) 2nd Quarter Membership Meeting was held on April 14, 2022 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, in collaboration with the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA). SP’s quarterly membership meetings provide an opportunity for members to share environmental sustainability best practices and strategies with industry peers and partners, learn about emerging issues impacting the environment and business operations, and identify opportunities for collaborative action.

The meeting opened with welcoming comments from Ron Davis, President of Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA), Brian Crichton, President of Talladega Super Speedway, and Kevin Butt, Toyota Motor and Chair of SP’s Board of Directors. The meeting included presentations from a range of speakers regarding environmental sustainability trends, best practices and opportunities, including:

  • Leigh Rainwater (Honda) shared information on Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant operations. She reviewed Honda’s North American environmental goals for 2030 – 2050 and provided examples of projects and activities that Honda is implementing at its Alabama site to make progress toward those goals.
  • Casey Allen (Mazda Toyota) shared information on the Mazda Toyota joint venture and its Alabama manufacturing operations.  She reviewed the environmental stewardship and conservation measures that were implemented in the design and construction of the site and highlighted air, water and waste pollution prevention measures that have been implemented in the manufacturing process.
  • Margaret O’Gorman (Wildlife Habitat Council) shared information on a new collaborative EPA Region 4 grant funded project WHC and SP are leading on Nature-Based Solutions for Pollution Prevention in the Automotive Supply Chain.  She reviewed outcomes of a pre-meeting workshop co-hosted by SP and WHC on April 13, and highlighted upcoming opportunities for SP member engagement related to the NBS project.
  • Mindy Tasich-Koyani (Clean Earth) introduced Clean Earth as a new member of SP and shared information on its recycling and specialty waste disposal services. She then introduced Clean Earth’s Full Circle advanced waste lifecycle management program and shared case examples of how Clean Earth has worked with customers to support their sustainability and zero waste goals.
  • Stefan Hogg (Li-Cycle) shared information on the expansion of Li-Cycle’s spoke and hub operations in North America and projected battery recycling capacities. He provided an overview of Li-Cycle’s battery recycling process and outputs, and the environmental benefits of using recycled materials as compared to virgin.
  • Roger Lin (Ascend Elements) shared information on current trends related to EV battery demand, domestic manufacturing, and ESG pressures. He provided an overview of Ascend’s battery recycling process and its outputs and environmental benefits in comparison to other technologies, and summarized challenges and opportunities for collaboration to further improve recycling systems.
  • Michael Staley (Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition) introduced ACFC and its work to promote and improve alternative fuel and advanced vehicle infrastructure in Alabama. He highlighted recent EV infrastructure initiatives and investments in the State and coming federal and state grant funding opportunities.
  • Michael Rasbury (UA SafeState) reviewed the concept of pollution prevention (P2) and how implementing P2 strategies can benefit automotive operations. He shared case studies on recent projects with Alabama manufacturers to implement low or no cost P2 projects and encouraged attendees, and their suppliers, to take advantage of the no-cost P2 assessments available through the EPA grant funded P2 program.
  • Kellen Mahoney (Suppliers Partnership) shared information on recent SP activities and resources available to attendees related to topics such as carbon neutrality, sustainable materials, and EV battery recycling.  He encouraged attendees to utilize these resources to support follow up action within their companies and to consider working together with others on these topics through one of SP’s work groups.

Kevin Butt closed the meeting by thanking the participants for their continued leadership and support in improving environmental sustainability performance within the industry and encouraged attendees to reach out to learn more about opportunities to engage in SP work group initiatives. Following the meeting, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a guided tram tour of the Talladega SuperSpeedway facilities.

Next quarter, SP will be hosting an Innovation Summit on July 27-28, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio in partnership with The Ohio State University. 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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