The automotive industry is taking proactive steps towards sustainability, actively working to reduce its carbon footprint. Just as in other facets of life, a moral imperative exists to practice reuse, recycling, and upcycling to curtail waste and mitigate the environmental impact associated with producing new items. Recent data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in 2022 showcased an 11.2% decrease in the UK automotive industry’s production carbon footprint in 2021 compared to the previous year. This marked the lowest level recorded since 1999.
According to an article on futurecar.com, a pivotal contributor to this reduction is retrieving useable car parts from end-of-life vehicles, which are repurposed and reintroduced as ‘green’ parts in service, maintenance, and repair (SMR) operations. When a vehicle reaches the end of its life, it often retains numerous perfectly serviceable and safe components. The automotive industry can further diminish its carbon footprint by salvaging and repurposing these components.
Survey findings from Intelligent Motoring, conducted among car owners, reveal that four out of five respondents would readily opt for recycled or reconditioned replacement parts. Surprisingly, only 13% had been presented with the choice of utilising green parts for servicing or repairs. This highlights a missed opportunity to advance sustainability within the industry.
Moreover, incorporating green parts can offer SMR providers a solution to overcome supply chain challenges. Although waiting times for new car parts have improved in recent months, they can still be excessively long. Delays in acquiring essential parts can inconvenience customers and lead to extended vehicle downtime, incurring financial losses for both customers and SMR providers. Conversely, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) green parts can cost up to 70% less than their brand-new counterparts.
The industry has made substantial strides toward a more sustainable future and must continue on this trajectory and ensure that each stakeholder plays a role in fostering a more eco-friendly motoring sector. Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of Intelligent Motoring, advocates for the industry to embrace sustainability and labour diligently towards a greener future.