Just One-in-Ten Automakers have Effective Sustainable Strategy

Despite a raft of automakers pledging future sustainability targets, just one-in-ten of them are meaningfully focused on sustainable production.

That’s the claim made by business management specialist Capgemini Research in its latest analysis Sustainable operations: A comprehensive guide for manufacturers. It found global manufacturers current sustainability targets see 20% aiming for carbon-neutral operations and 40% setting their sights on 100% renewable operations by 2030.

Yet just 51% of manufacturing organizations globally are aiming to align with the temperature contribution target of the Paris Agreement. Within this cohort, Germany (68%) and France (67%) are leading the pack with respect to their manufacturers being on track to achieve the targets.

However, despite high ambitions, only a few are on track to becoming sustainable manufacturers. Automotive is among the least sustainable industrial sector with just 10% of the organizations meeting targets while consumer products is the most sustainable sector with 15% on course. Furthermore, only 11% of sustainability initiatives are actively being scaled across organizations and just one in five agree that sustainability is fully integrated into their manufacturing strategy.

Corinne Jouanny, chief innovation scaling officer at Capgemini Engineering, said: ”There is a paradox in the fact that only 11% of green sustainability initiatives are actively being scaled across organizations, while the benefits realized by companies adopting sustainability initiatives are huge. Technologies and data are critical to accelerating the sustainability agenda. We’re seeing growing investments in digital technologies by manufacturers who are forming partnerships with established technology firms and startups to further develop their sustainable solutions. This is leading organizations to a full range of opportunities to reconcile profitable growth and sustainability.”

The report outlines the critical success factors for organizations to reach their sustainability goals:

  1. Align business teams and sustainability executives to explain synergies between performance and sustainability, and anchor the joint agenda;
  2. Work with customers and suppliers to reduce indirect emissions;
  3. Build transparency through effective reporting and ensure accountability;
  4. Incorporate sustainable ways-of-working and operating culture;
  5. Invest in technology and data-driven innovation to ensure sustainability goes hand in hand with profitable growth.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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