SP Q4 2021 Membership Meeting Summary – October 28

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) Q4 Membership Meeting was held as a virtual event over October 26-28, 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.

2021 Awards Ceremony

On October 28, the meeting began with the announcement of SP’s 2021 Awards Program winners. Kevin Butt (Toyota Motor & SP Chair) welcomed attendees to the meeting and introduced SP’s Technology & Innovation Advisory Council Co-Chairs Vickie Lewis (VMX International) and Bob Crawford (GWT Insight). They introduced the objectives of the 2021 Awards program and announced the nominees and winners in each of the five award categories.

  • The winner of the 2021 SP Community Impact Award is Magna International for its Global 6K Water Challenge with John Crowell accepting the award on behalf of Magna.
  • The winner of the 2021 SP Creativity in Implementing Sustainable Practices Award is Avangard Innovative for its Circular Economy program with Joe Stalnaker and Rick Perez accepting the award on behalf of Avangard.
  • The winner of the 2021 SP Demonstrating Environmental Innovation in the Manufacturing Process Award is Li-Cycle for its Spoke and Hub Technologies with Kunal Phalpher accepting the award on behalf of Li-Cycle.
  • The recipients of the 2021 SP Shining Star Award are Sophia Borroni-Bird of General Motors and Gary Vegh of ERA Environmental Management Solutions.
  • The recipient of the 2021 Spirit of SP Award is Alissa Yakali of Honda Development & Manufacturing America.

Following the award presentation, Vickie Lewis announced that SP’s Technology & Innovation Council is organizing a 2022 SP Innovation Summit in July 2022 designed to bring cross-functional teams from each of SP’s member companies together around shared sustainability innovation challenges. She noted that the Council is actively seeking members’ ideas, input and nominations to shape key aspects of the Summit agenda and invited attendees to visit supplierspartnership.org/2022Summit for more information.

SP Q4 Program Updates

Kellen Mahoney (SP) provided an overview of SP’s current focus areas and welcomed new SP member companies from Arplank Direct, Norican Group, Primex Design & Fabrication, Real Quality Services and RePowered Batteries.

Sara Cook (Wildlife Habitat Council) shared information on a new collaborative project WHC and SP are leading on Nature-Based Solutions for Pollution Prevention in the Automotive Supply Chain. Sara announced that WHC and SP have received a pollution prevention grant from EPA Region 4 to support the two-year project which will explore and promote nature-based solutions (NbS) that address pollution prevention within the region’s automotive industry and across the supply chain.

Examples of recycled materials in automotive

Rae Howard (GM) provided a report on an SP Materials Efficiency Work Group Sustainable Materials Definitions Sub-team that was formed with the objective to develop straightforward common definitions of key terms related to sustainable materials to minimize duplication of effort and promote consistent approaches in communications with suppliers, sustainability reporting and measuring industry progress. She reviewed a guidance document the work group had recently published together with AIAG on measuring recycled content in automotive products, as well as an upcoming accompanying guidance document on measuring renewable content.

Bridget Grewal (Magna International) provided a report on an SP Materials Efficiency Work Group Sustainable Packaging Sub-team that is working to identify voluntary opportunities and best practices to minimize packaging waste and promote consideration of sustainable packaging materials. She noted the team welcomes additional input and engagement from SP OEMs, tiered suppliers and recycler members with expertise in environment, sustainability, materials engineering, packaging, supply chain and/or procurement.

Kellen Mahoney then introduced a new SP Environmental Justice Initiative designed to support SP companies as they strive to positively impact the environment, the economy, and the people who live and work in host communities surrounding automotive manufacturing operations. He also announced that SP would be partnering with The Water Council in 2022 to develop a sector wide water stewardship program that is centered on a decision matrix and action plan that will help member organizations achieve excellence in their water stewardship performance.

The meeting concluded with a summary of SP’s focus issues and key programs going into 2022 and an outline of plans for SP’s quarterly membership meetings for the coming year. The SP leadership team thanked each of the participating member volunteers for their 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 current and emerging SP work group initiatives.

SP’s next quarterly membership meeting is scheduled to be held on January 25 – 27, 2022. 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 Q4 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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