2014 Automotive Sustainability Report Proves A Bright Future Is Possible
posted on Aug 06 2014 by Kiri Nowak
Despite growth in sector the automotive industry still managed to make progress with reducing the impact that cars have on the environment. More than 1.5 million cars were built last year with a year on year increase of 3.1%.
This is a huge challenge that the automotive sector has been trying to combat, especially in the last few years. The government wants the sector to aim towards a low-carbon future and finally this is beginning to seem possible.
The focus isn’t just on improving the CO2 emissions of cars but by reducing the amount of energy used in the manufacturing process. This is a difficult challenge when the UK is home to 6 mainstream car manufactures.
However, the fact that 25% more cars were produced using the same energy as 15 years ago demonstrates that the manufacturing process is showing signs of improvement.
CO2 Emissions decreasing
The goal of reducing the CO2 emissions of cars is also being achieved. As the graph below shows, the average new car CO2 emissions from Q1 in 2012 to now has significantly decreased.
‘The overall CO2 produced by signatories has dropped by 42% since 1999 and CO2 output per vehicle produced has almost halved in the last 15 years.’ (smmt.co.uk 2014 Automotive Sustainability Report)
There has also been an increase in recent years of people favouring diesel-powered cars. People are even coming around to the idea of alternatively fuelled cars such as hybrid and electric vehicles.
Renewable energy on the rise
The automotive sector is also seeing a growth in the use of renewable energy. ‘The amount of renewable energy produced by signatories has been steadily increasing over recent years, and now totals almost 40GWh. (smmt.co.uk 2014 Automotive Sustainability Report)’ This is more than double the tally for 2009.
Working towards zero waste to landfill
Zero waste to landfill might seem like a vision of the future for the businesses of today. However, the automotive sector is trying to do its part by finding ways to reuse waste.
Waste to landfill has been reduced by 83% in the last 15 years. ‘Only 3% of waste generated by signatories ends up in landfill, compared to 26% in 2004.’ Although there is still a long way to go this is definitely encouraging.