SP Q2 Membership Meeting Held at GM

SP’s 2nd quarterly membership meeting of 2024 was held on April 30 – May 1 at General Motors’ Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, bringing together a sold out crowd of more than 200 representatives from across the automotive value chain.

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) provides a forum for global vehicle 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.

April 30 – Working Sessions

The day began with a small group tour of the wildlife habitat initiatives around the GM Warren campus, including information on the wide variety of bird species that can be observed across the GM campus throughout the year.

Working meetings were then held throughout the day of April 30, followed by an evening networking event, including:

  • Responsible Battery Work Group. This work group provides a forum to promote information exchange on key challenges and opportunities related to end-of-life management of advanced EV batteries and to identify opportunities for strategic pre-competitive collaboration across the value chain to advance best practice in responsible management of such batteries in North America and beyond. The meeting featured presentations on fire code updates and regulatory activities relevant to EV batteries from Michael O’Brian (Brighton Area Fire Department & Code Savvy Consultants) and Jeff Haltrecht (Call2Recycle).
  • Sustainable Materials Work Group. Co-chaired by BASF and Padnos, SP’s sustainable materials work group is working to move the automotive industry towards a circular materials economy. This facilitated working session focused on key sustainable materials criteria, and their associated metrics and methods, that individual companies generally consider to inform their independent evaluation of the sustainability of a particular material. Breakout table discussions focused around topics related to mass balance accounting and product carbon footprint.
  • Sustainability Leadership Strategies Work Group. Co-chaired by Bosch and GM, this facilitated workshop session explored those areas, inside and outside the organization, that may often be involved in and contribute to the sustainability leadership process, and whether they are fundamental to sustainability (responsible or accountable), must be involved for the success of the process (consulted), or are important supporters and communicators of the process of sustainability leadership (informed).

May 1 — Membership Meeting

On May 1, the Q1 SP membership meeting opened with comments from Kevin Butt, Toyota Motor and Chair of SP’s Board of Directors. GM’s VP & Chief Sustainability Officer Kristen Siemen then welcomed attendees to the GM Campus and shared insights on GM’s sustainability ambitions and progress.

The meeting included presentations from a range of speakers regarding environmental sustainability trends, best practices and opportunities, including:

  • Alessandra Carreon (Michigan Public Service Commission) shared information on Michigan’s decarbonization goals and activities, and programs and resources relevant to industrial sector.
  • Jennifer Good (American Axle) shared information on AAM’s sustainability goals and its supplier sustainability council model.
  • Susan Jackson (BASF) presented on BASF’s activities in support of automotive industry sustainability goals.
  • Josh Wimble (Huntsman) presented on Huntsman’s sustainability goals and activities to improve the circularity of polyurethane foams.
  • Helena Hutton (Cummins) shared information on Cummin’s sustainability goals and its supplier environmental consortium model.
  • Jeremy Galanty (General Motors) provided an overview of GM’s Treasure Maps program and free resources offered to suppliers to support energy and carbon reduction efforts.
  • Taryn McKnight (Eurofins) and Jonathan Rickli (Burns & McDonnell) provided an overview of current and emerging regulations related to PFAS and potential impacts to industry.
  • Bethany Gunnels (General Motors) shared an update on USCAR’s PFAS tech team and its work in engaging suppliers to better understand and prepare for potential impacts of PFAS regulatory efforts on the automotive supply chain.
  • Matt Howard (The Water Council) provided an update on progress with SP’s water stewardship program, including the tools developed to date and deliverables planned for 2024.
  • Kellen Mahoney (SP) closed the meeting with an update on coming SP projects and activities, including the formation of a new transportation and logistics decarbonization working group.

May 2 – Water Stewardship Workshop

On May 2 a small group of SP members participated in a half-day workshop where SP’s partner Matt Howard of The Water Council walked participants through the world of water stewardship. The workshop explored what good corporate water stewardship looks like and how that informs action at the facility level. Key tools and resources that inform water stewardship were also covered, including existing SP tools to support action at an enterprise and facility level. The session was the first in a series of water stewardship sessions planned for 2024.

Additional information on the membership meeting discussions, presentations and next steps is available to current SP member companies. SP’s annual Summit will take place on July 24-25 in Columbus, Ohio. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about SP and opportunities to participate as a member.

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