Nominees for 2021 SP Awards Program

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) 2021 Awards Program is designed to recognize and raise awareness of SP members’ environmental sustainability successes, while promoting knowledge sharing and transfer of proven solutions across the automotive industry. 

SP’s Award Categories for 2021 include,

  • Demonstrating Environmental Innovation in the Manufacturing Process (Company). This award recognizes SP member companies that demonstrate outstanding innovation in an advanced manufacturing process or technology leading to significant environmental and economic impact within the North American automotive supply chain.
  • Creativity in Implementing Sustainable Practices (Company). This award recognizes SP member companies that demonstrate remarkable creativity in implementing environmental sustainability programs and practices within the North American automotive supply chain.
  • Community Impact (Company). This award recognizes SP member companies who strive to extend the positive impacts of their sustainability efforts to local communities and organizations outside the automotive industry through outreach and education.
  • Shining Star (Individual). This award recognizes and celebrates individual emerging sustainability leaders within SP member companies for their exemplary efforts in developing and improving environmental sustainability programs, as well as their leadership and engagement in SP.
  • Spirit of SP (Individual). This award recognizes and celebrates individual members who visibly embody SP’s values and have made outstanding contributions to the SP community.

SP members had the opportunity to submit 2021 awards applications for consideration through August 9, 2021. A selection committee of environmental sustainability leaders from SP OEM member companies have been assigned to review qualified applications and select the winning entries.


2021 Nominees

SP is pleased to share the following nominees that are under consideration in each of the company-level award categories. The winning entries will be announced in a virtual SP Awards Ceremony on October 28, 2021.

Community Impact

Nominees for the 2021 SP Community Impact Award include:

  • Battery Solutions – Electrifying Our Community Gardens. “Electric vehicle (EVs) recycling is on the rise. When some EVs battery packs are sent for recycling they come in containers called cocoons, these units are not as easily recyclable. Battery Solutions partnered with John Bradburn at ERA Environmental Management Solutions and discovered that these cocoons have the opportunity to be reused and repurposed into garden beds. There are many underserved areas and one such area, Flint, MI has been hit harder than most. The Electrifying our Community Gardens initiative is in an effort to support our local community, provide access to fresh produce, support well-being, give access for all and create a sustainable solution. Through the reuse and repurposing of the cocoons and leveraging fertilizer made from recycled batteries this is a true example of supporting the circular economy.”
  • DENSO TEN – Give Ten. “DENSO TEN created an internal campaign and Logo, called “GIVE TEN” to promote community and environmental events. “Give Ten is intended to translate to “GIVE back to the community, give some (even TEN minutes) of your time”. This year already, our California and Michigan locations participated in Team Honda Week by cleaning up a local beach and a local park, respectively. Our Texas location is planning their event for October, due to the extreme temperatures in South TX in Summer. These events result in continuing education to our employees, placing emphasis on the importance of environmental sustainability efforts.”
  • Magna International – The Global 6K Water Challenge. “For the past 5 years, thousands of enthusiastic employees from Magna locations around the world participated in walking or running six kilometers in the World Vision Global 6K Challenge to bring clean water to communities in need. Why six kilometers? Six kilometers is the average distance that women and children in the developing world must walk for water – water that is often dirty and dangerous. The Magna 6K Challenge was started by the Magna Exteriors Group in 2017. Today, the initiative has spread throughout all Manga Groups and employees from 15 different countries rally annually to be part of something bigger and give back. To date, a total of more than 10,000 Magna employees globally have participated in a Global 6K Challenge event and raised more than $1M USD to help support access to water in communities around the world.”

Creativity in Implementing Sustainable Practices

Nominees for the 2021 SP Creativity in Implementing Sustainable Practices Award include:

  • Avangard Innovative – Circular Economy. “At Avangard Innovative we understand that plastics are fundamental to our everyday life. Yet, they are one of the most wasteful examples of our existing linear, take-make-dispose economy. That is why we urgently and diligently created a method to rethink the way we make, use and reuse plastics. Natura PCR catalyzes change through collaboration in this global material flow to not only create a more effective plastics system, but to also create a circular economy in which plastics never become waste. Our end goal for the Carrier Ring project was to present the journey ‘from shelf to shelf’ giving consumers an option to recycle them and an inside look at the infrastructure we’ve built to ensure used beverage ring carriers are collected, repurposed and reused.”
  • Battery Solutions / General Motors – Alkaline Battery Recycling Program. “This project aims to recycle all alkaline batteries from our GM processes in Michigan and personal use from our workforce. By partnering with Battery Solutions, a SP partner, we are driving cultural change while providing by-products to farmers in form of fertilizers.”
  • Clarios – Powering the Future. “Team Clarios has been working on building a concept for lithium-ion end-of-life battery recycling infrastructure, with several external partners. Focusing on the transport, safe packaging and efficient logistics, Team Clarios’ main goal is to validate the processes and logistics, and business model to build circular economy.”
  • ERA Environmental – Automated Guidance Tool for Sustainable Solid Waste Minimization. “Solid waste is frequently overlooked in many industrial supply chains. In the United States alone, annual industrial waste production is estimated to be upwards of 7.6 billion tons and roughly 50% of the 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated each year is landfilled. Although the negative impacts of landfilling are widely understood and studied, many manufacturers have limited knowledge and guidance on how to properly assess, manage, and dispose of their waste using a systematic, life-cycle approach to solid waste minimization. Inspired by this gap in knowledge, ERA set out to create a strategic tool for both experienced and novice users in industrial settings to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills by their facilities.”

Demonstrating Environmental Innovation in the Manufacturing Process

Nominees for the 2021 SP Demonstrating Environmental Innovation in the Manufacturing Process Award include:

  • ABC Technologies – Reprocessing of HDPE Chunks. “In the past, HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) chunks were discarded and sent to the land fill for an additional cost. Our team found that HDPE chunks can be reprocessed by regrinding and pelletizing the chunks to be reused. By reprocessing the chunks we can reduce our waste generation, save on initial cost of buying HDPE and landfilling cost. An estimated 150,000 lbs of HDPE chunks can be reprocessed annually with an estimated savings annually of $60,000.”
  • East Penn Mfg. Co. – East Penn’s Industry’s First Acid Reclamation Process. “Prior to 1992, the lead battery industry had a good story. Two of the three major components of a lead battery (lead and plastic) were able to be completely recycled and the third (acid) could be neutralized and safely disposed. During 1992 that story got a whole lot better. East Penn researchers were the first to develop a process that was patented for the reclamation of sulfuric acid from spent batteries for use in new energy storage devices. At the company’s acid reclamation facility, the first of its kind in our industry, heavy metals and other impurities are removed and the solution is converted into new electrolyte. In 2020, 5.6 million pounds were diverted from disposal. In the almost thirty years the company has been reclaiming acid for new batteries, the company has diverted over 1.5 hundred million gallons from other forms of disposal.”
  • Ecoclean Inc. – Driving environment and economical savings through innovative cleaning and deburring systems. “The increasing CAFE standards continue to drive OEMs to more complex and efficient engines. Along with the new complex part geometries come increased cleanliness requirements. These new cleanliness specifications drive the need for a more complex approach to both the cleaning and deburring processes of cylinder heads. Ecoclean, together with a team at Honda, was able to design, build and install systems for a new line that saved footprint, operating costs, utility consumption, and initial investment. In addition to the above savings, the implemented systems allow Honda to capture and recycle the aluminum chips that are removed during the cleaning process.”
  • Li-Cycle – Li-Cycle’s Spoke & Hub Technologies. “Li-Cycle provides a full-service solution for customers to recycle their batteries, including closed-loop battery resource recovery, logistics management, secure destruction, and add-on services. Furthermore, Li-Cycle provides recovered battery-grade materials through its Spoke & Hub Technologies. Critical materials that are recovered from lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries – including lithium, cobalt and nickel – are processed to the point of being reusable in battery production. Residual materials (e.g., steel and plastics) are sent for further processing to ensure all materials generated are being returned to the economy, thus closing the loop.”

Shining Star

The Shining Star award recognizes and celebrates individual emerging sustainability leaders within SP member companies for their exemplary efforts in developing and improving environmental sustainability programs, as well as their leadership and engagement in SP.

*Shining Star Nominees to be revealed in October 28 Award Presentation*


Spirit of SP

This award recognizes and celebrates individual members who visibly embody SP’s values and have made outstanding contributions to the SP community. Candidates for the Spirit of SP Award are nominated by SP’s senior leadership team based on notable influence in furthering the mission of SP through their dedication and engagement in the organization. Self-nominations are not accepted for Spirit of SP recognition.

*The Spirit of SP candidate will be revealed in the October 28 Award Presentation*


Congratulations to each of this year’s Award nominees on their impressive submissions. Check back for announcement of the 2021 SP Award winners on October 28, 2021.

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