Automotive suppliers prioritise the acceleration of sustainability across the value chain   

  • Leading EU conference in the field of materials regulations examines key sustainability policies currently reshaping automotive business 
  • Sustainable material-sourcing process, material usage optimisation, and minimisation of waste through advanced design and zero-defect manufacturing are just some of the key priorities for suppliers  
  • Economic growth should be closely linked with a strong circularity strategy, as part of a comprehensive policy framework    

Sustainability at the core 

Automotive suppliers are leading the transformation towards a more sustainable mobility future, advancing different dimensions of the value chain. New developments, such as advanced powertrain technologies, light-weighting, and the use of recycled and bio-based materials are just a few of many innovations that are contributing to the long-term success in reducing emissions in the sector. Over the past three days, the CLEPA Materials Regulations Event 2022—the leading EU conference in the field— has brought to light how the topic of sustainability is currently shaping the automotive supply chain. Adapting to this dynamic space, the event included for the first time a ‘Sustainability Day’, dedicated to the latest policy priorities in terms of sustainable financing, investment and reporting. The new proposed policies will directly affect the way automotive companies will run their business and how automotive suppliers deliver the transformation towards climate-neutral mobility.

Innovation, strongly integrated in the DNA of the automotive suppliers, is a key driver when it comes to adapting to new regulatory and market demands, but the industry is also dealing with considerable pressures. In her opening speech, CLEPA’s Secretary General Sigrid de Vries, highlighted: “The current geopolitical context has shown the vulnerabilities in the global supply chain caused by import dependencies, especially on the materials and energy side. Automotive suppliers are focusing on ensuring that the supply chain can respond to new requirements and comply with human rights, environmental and social aspects. To make that possible, diversification of energy and materials supply is key and should be a fundamental principle for Europe.”

14 editions and counting! 

This year marks the 14th edition of the CLEPA Materials Regulations Event, which extended its duration to three days to accommodate 25 insightful sessions, welcoming speakers from all over the world. The programme included a thorough overview of the current state-of-play of several regulatory and legislative files affecting the automotive industry. The European Commission presented on the status of the ongoing revision of the End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive, a key piece of automotive regulation containing general provisions which contribute to the development of a more circular economy, including measures on the use of recycled materials, targets for recovery, recycling and re-use, and rules regarding the recovery and sale of parts.

Further, the global perspective was covered with an overview of activities by automotive suppliers in Asia, the U.S. and Japan. Several representatives from these regions presented on the implementation of the SCIP database, provisions for ELV and chemicals, global management via the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL), and the International Material Data System (IMDS).

During the ’Sustainability Day’, the focus was on sustainability initiatives from the industry, including the policy landscape. Experts presented on initiatives responding to the new political expectations, as the sector is working towards harmonisation of tools, guidelines and processes. Also, key upcoming EU legislation, such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, was covered, as suppliers are now looking for ways to respond and comply to the new requirements.

The 15th edition of the Materials Regulations Event is scheduled for Spring 2023, tentatively planned to take place in Stuttgart (Germany).


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