Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) Publishes Sustainable Packaging Guidance for Automotive Manufacturing Operations

December 9, 2020, Washington, DC –The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) – an association of global automakers and their suppliers working together to advance environmental sustainability through the automotive supply chain – today announced the publication of a new guidance document, Sustainable Packaging Specification Recommendations for Automotive Manufacturing Operations.

The guidance document was produced through a collaborative process by the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) Materials Efficiency Work Group, whose members include automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as FCA, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda of America Mfg., and Toyota Motor North America.  It is designed to provide straightforward industry-supported guidance to help automakers and their suppliers source sustainable packaging designs for use in automotive manufacturing operations. 

“We [Sustainability representatives from OEMs that collaborate through SP] decided to put together a working group to measure and track progress towards increasing recycled content in the automotive industry.  The goal is to leverage our requests as an industry to increase demand for sustainable content and increase supply of it from our suppliers.  We have been working with suppliers and together to understand how to define sustainable content and how to track the progress.  We’re very excited for the packaging specs and see this as the start of other sustainable material initiatives,” said Sophia Borroni-Bird, Sustainability Lead, General Motors and Co-Chair of SP’s Materials Efficiency Work Group.

The recommendations outlined in the new document focus on opportunities to minimize automotive packaging waste and address potential barriers to recyclability in the design phase, based on proven best practices that have been implemented by industry environmental sustainability leaders. 

The SP Materials Efficiency Work Group is recommending that the sustainable packaging strategies outlined in the guidance document be entered into automotive companies’ product sourcing considerations, where appropriate, and distributed widely across the automotive supply chain as best practice guidance.

“This project is another example of how our companies are working together through SP to not only share leading environmental sustainability practices, but advance understanding of how to actually do something that makes a real change.  By working together to advance implementation of leading practices that can be put in place on a large scale, we have the opportunity to make a meaningful and positive impact to the environmental footprint of our industry,“ said Kevin Butt, Senior Director, Environmental Sustainability, Toyota Motor North America and Chair of SP’s Executive Committee.

The original document was developed by John Bradburn, on behalf of SP member company ERA Environmental Management Solutions, with input from representatives of SP member companies including FCA, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda of America Mfg., and Toyota Motor North America.

“This project is about companies working together through SP to share knowledge and lessons learned over many years of work to minimize waste across the automotive industry, and promoting the thinking and action that is needed to tackle packaging waste minimization and pave the way for others to follow the same path,” said John Bradburn, Sustainability Expert Consultant at ERA Environmental Management Solutions.

The guidance document is available to download at no-cost at

About SP

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) is an association of automakers and their suppliers working in collaboration with the US EPA and other governmental entities toward a shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact.

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