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The future of a sustainable automotive industry

In a world where sustainability is on everyone’s agenda, we discuss how to shift the automotive industry to healthier ways of working.

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Two pairs of hands, one passing an earth ball to the other with a strap that reads The future of a sustainable automotive industry.

The automotive industry is one of the largest sources of global greenhouse emissions and a major source of air pollution. The transport industry alone contributes almost one-quarter of the current global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. According to Statista, in the first quarter of 2023, there were around 286 million vehicles operating on the roads throughout the United States. Keep in mind that the national average annual carbon dioxide emissions of a typical passenger vehicle is 4.6 metric tons of CO2, which will give us a total of 1.3 billion metric tons of carbon emissions every year in the US alone.  

It is important to understand that the environmental impact not only starts when the vehicle hits the street, but the automotive manufacturing industry also leaves a giant footprint with the materials and resources needed to produce a new car, such as plastics, paints, chemicals, and water waste. According to an article from The Guardian citing “How bad are bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything” by Mike Berners-Lee, the carbon footprint of a new car ranges from 6 tons to up to 35 tons of carbon emissions per car depending on the size of the vehicle.    

All of this has triggered a series of changes in the world to turn to more sustainable options, and now the automotive industry is evolving to prevent the depletion of natural and physical resources. An example of this is the production of electric vehicles that undoubtedly will help to reduce emissions, which—according to the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015— could help mitigate global warming by up to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For instance, the German automaker Mercedes-Benz announced during an EV Strategy update that by 2030, it will only sell electric vehicles. 

There are also other measures that are currently being carried out to improve sustainability in this industry to reduce the ecological footprint, here are some examples:  

  • Volkswagen announced in February 2023 that it would increase the use of recycled materials in the ID family, making the interior of their electric vehicles even more sustainable by using recycled materials from PET bottles. 
  • According to Audi’s “Mission: Zero” environmental program, the company has committed to massively reducing water consumption by 2035 by optimizing water usage in all their production processes, developing water cycles to reduce water waste, and eliminating the use of potable water production.  
  • The Auto Care Association has recently announced the formation of a new committee to focus on environmental sustainability in the auto care industry. According to Aftermarket News, this sustainability committee emphasizes strategic areas that provide educational campaigns, provide guidance on the advantages and opportunities of recycling, evaluate legislative policies, and enhance best practices to become more environmentally friendly.  

At Kerridge Commercial Systems, we are committed to making our contribution to the environment. That’s why we are promoting and practicing sustainability across our solutions and within our business through several actions, such as: 

  • Reducing our internal waste, such as paper, and leveraging technology to remove the need to print and store paper, achieving a 95% rate of recycling. 
  • Offering solutions to our customers to reduce the number of physical servers and on-site IT hardware to run business management software and also minimize paper usage.  
  • Developing solutions that optimize delivery and logistics management, reducing the carbon footprint of our customers through vehicle load optimization and planning. 
  • Provide our offices with high-efficiency LED lighting, GSC-certified furniture, carpet tiles made from recycled materials, and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, among others.  

“Sustainability makes good business sense, and we’re all on the same team at the end of the day. That’s the truth about the human condition,” -Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever.  

To learn more about our commitment to sustainability, please see our Sustainability Policy or contact us. 

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