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AkzoNobel launches initiative to reduce carbon footprint of vehicle repair

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AkzoNobel says a recent gathering in the Netherlands led to the formation of several teams focused on reducing the collision repair industry’s environmental impact.

The paints and performance company said that a 24-hour event last week led to the creation of groups that will focus on identifying solutions related to the energy transition, improving repair-related processes and reusing parts.

Of the exploration teams founded, one will work to optimize and adapt repair manuals for businesses in an effort to increase repairability and circularity, AkzoNobel said. Another will begin the process of creating an academy to train repair facilities to become more sustainable.

Allianz, Arval, Boekhorst Autoschade, Centro Zaragoza, Den Elzen Autoschade, Europcar Mobility Group, Grupo Velasco, Toyota, and The Vella Group are among the companies participating in the initiative.

“We all have ambitious targets when it comes to addressing climate change but it’s impossible for any of us to achieve them in isolation — collaboration is essential,” said Ignacio Román Navarro, AkzoNobel’s commercial director for vehicle refinishes for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“It’s been fantastic to see everyone come together, exchange ideas, and make a real commitment to jointly explore what’s possible. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can take forward the challenges that came out of this program as we strive to collectively accelerate our sustainability journey.”

AkzoNobel, which has set targets to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030, said achieving that goal will require working with partners to overcome the issues being faced.

Navarro said the exploration teams are one way to do that.

“We’re off to a really encouraging start,” he said. “The next step is our Discovery Day in April next year, where the teams will showcase potential solutions and our partners will officially sign up to be part of the implementation phase. That’s when the hard work begins — when we start doing what needs to be done to collectively reduce our carbon footprint, based on the exploration areas we’ve defined.”

Meanwhile, Stellantis said it opened its SUSTAINera Circular Economy Hub (CE Hub) in Turin, Italy last week to progress its own environmental ambitions through remanufacturing, repairing, reusing, and recycling.

“The primary objectives of the state-of-the-art Circular Economy Hub are to extend the life of parts and vehicles, ensuring that they last for as long as possible,” Stellantis said in a press release. “When that is no longer possible, the material is collected for recycling from the remanufacturing activity, and from the end-of-life vehicle dismantling activity, and then returned to the manufacturing loop to build new vehicles and parts.”

The automaker detailed how its strategy will lean into the four Rs of recycling:

    • Remanufacturing used, worn, or defective parts such as engines, gearboxes, and EV batteries by disassembling, cleaning, and remanufacturing them to original OEM specifications;
    • Sorting an estimated 2.5 million worn parts to be remanufactured or recycled;
    • Repairing vehicles using new, remanufactured, or used parts; and
    • Dismantling vehicles at the end of their life cycle to be remanufactured, reused, or recycled.

The new $40 million CE hub encompasses 73,000 square meters (785,765 square feet) and was created, in part, by repurposing equipment and machinery from other locations, Stellantis said.

“We are industrializing the recovery and sustainable reuse of materials, building new technologies and advanced capabilities as we grow in this area,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “We know that our commitment to remanufacturing, repairing, reusing, and recycling will not only take pressure off our planet, but it will also bring financial value to Stellantis, safeguarding our shared future as we quickly transform our production and consumption business model.”


Featured image courtesy of kadmy/iStock

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