Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

Adam Hewitt
green parts specialists

Sustainability: A beginner’s guide part 1 – “In mid-Atlantic, no-one can hear you scream”


David Parker, Circular Economy Specialist at Oakdene Hollins, a research and consulting company advising on sustainability and the circular economy provides a first part guide to sustainability and how the circular economy is one way this can be achieved.


Sustainability: A beginner’s guide part 1 - “In mid-Atlantic, no-one can hear you scream” feat two
David Parker

Ellen MacArthur knows about sustainability. When you’re solo navigating the globe, a thousand miles from land and no means of rescue, you become acutely aware that what you have, what you can harness is all you’ll ever have: make it work, make it last. On her website, she’s passionate about telling you why this is driving her efforts in sustainability. Give it a visit; it’s inspirational.

Obviously, there are some disconnects when directly comparing solo sailing to the issues facing us today. For a start, she couldn’t actually grow food, so what she had was going to run out at some point. But I think the case is still a good one. It’s the frame of mind that recognises that we’re operating within limits and we have to adapt our mindset if we’re going to last the trip.

For Ellen, sustainability meant living within her means, reusing resources and harnessing the elements. What does it mean for us on dry land? Many businesses are claiming that they are sustainable without being very transparent about what that means. They might claim, like a well-known coffee brand, that their products are recyclable. When you think about it, that’s not an entirely convincing sustainability claim, is it? Someone else has to do the hard recycling work, not them, and isn’t everything ultimately recyclable? Outside of the sun and a nuclear bomb, we’re not destroying many atoms. So, it’s a bit like Ellen putting her drinks bottles in a bag, turning on her engine and chugging over to Monaco to drop her recycling off and maybe having a night in the Casino while she’s there.

Admittedly a bit of a jump, I’m sure they’re doing better stuff that didn’t make it into the ad. But what do we learn? Well, for a start, beware sloppy greenwash, but more seriously, that part of this must be about taking responsibility for our own – corporate or personal – impact: The consequential impact (let’s call it environmental impact), financial impact (we’ve still got to make money) and the social impact (we really ought to get some jobs out of this and not have to live like monks).

The good news is, in truly sustainable solutions, all these things are possible. Ellen has hitched her wagon to promoting the Circular Economy. As it sounds, that’s about keeping stuff flowing around the economy time after time. This concept has been gaining traction and within the automotive sector specifically, there are already good examples of businesses that have, knowingly or not, embraced Circular Economy principles. Two examples that come to mind are Audi, who have been working in partnership with Umicore to try and ‘close the loop’ for the recycling of cobalt and nickel within the batteries of their new E-tron model. And slightly closer to home is SYNETIQ, who have been facilitating the reuse of non-safety critical OEM parts, via their MyGreenFleet portal for businesses. Oakdene Hollins have actually just been commissioned by the latter to investigate the carbon benefit of these parts.

The Circular Economy is one approach to get to sustainability. Not the only one, after all, we could also lose 90% of the population and go back to living off the land, but that’s not a popular policy. And it’s not the one proposed by Walter Stahel, a pioneering thinker in this field and a man you’ve likely never heard of. If you want a comparison, he’s the Greta Thunberg of the business and academic world. To prove it, he proposed the Circular Economy in 1976 in a paper for the European Commission and with great foresight, they shelved it for 34 years.

More good news: Walter, like Greta, is now all the rage and his vision is our stepping point for the next part of the story.

If you would like out find out more from Oakdene Hollins, visit

Sustainability: A beginner’s guide part 1 - “In mid-Atlantic, no-one can hear you scream” feat post


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Adam Hewitt

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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