The road to a greener future in the automotive industry is accelerating at a remarkable pace. Recent data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the UK demonstrates significant progress. In 2021, the production carbon footprint of the automotive industry dropped by 11.2% compared to the previous year, marking the lowest level since 1999. A noteworthy contributor to this reduction is recovering usable car parts from end-of-life vehicles repurposing them as ‘green’ parts for service, maintenance, and repair (SMR), according to an article by Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of Intelligent Motoring in Fleet News.
The UK government encourages authorised vehicle dismantlers to recycle up to 95% of a vehicle’s weight, creating a substantial pool of reconditioned parts that can be reintroduced into the supply chain. This emphasis on parts recycling has yielded remarkable results, including a 96.2% reduction in waste sent to landfills per vehicle, the lowest level in 23 years, and a 2.6% year-on-year decrease in 2021.
While these figures are certainly encouraging, there is room for the fleet industry to do even more to incorporate green parts into their sustainability strategies. Fleet managers and businesses have a unique opportunity to proactively integrate sustainable repair practices into their fleet policies, aligning their actions with their corporate sustainability values.
When a vehicle reaches the end of its operational life, it often still contains numerous perfectly functional and safe parts. Repurposing these components as green parts in other vehicles further diminishes the automotive industry’s production carbon footprint. Every part recycled from an end-of-life vehicle is one less part that needs to be manufactured from scratch, saving valuable resources and reducing CO2 emissions.
The cost of motor claims has been on a steady rise, and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) green parts, which can cost up to 70% less than their brand-new counterparts, provide a sensible solution for dealers, garages, and service providers to assist their customers in managing claim costs effectively. Leveraging the growing pool of green parts can also help mitigate the ongoing challenges in the supply chain.
While waiting times for new car parts have improved in recent months, they are still often longer than desired. Delays can leave vehicles idle on the repair rack, negatively impacting fleet efficiency and bottom-line costs. Using green parts can offer a swift solution to these problems.
To ensure safety and reliability, sourcing green parts from reputable suppliers is crucial. Certified green parts providers should be endorsed by The Vehicle Recyclers’ Association (VRA) Certification Scheme, which conducts independent assessments of recyclers’ policies and procedures. This guarantees that every reclaimed vehicle part has been accurately identified, recorded, tested, and graded. With all VRA Certified items meeting stringent quality standards, consumers can rest assured that they save money and contribute to environmental protection.
Fleet managers and businesses should prioritise reducing claims costs, repair times, and environmental waste while also cutting carbon emissions. Choosing green parts is one of the most effective ways to achieve these goals.
The automotive industry has made substantial strides toward sustainability, and we must continue this trajectory. By choosing green parts, we promote a greener motoring future and actively participate in protecting the environment and supporting a more sustainable and cost-effective future for the entire industry. In embracing green parts, we are paving the way for a brighter, more sustainable future.