Towards Sustainability – fifth annual report launched

14 December 2004 #SMMT News

Towards Sustainability – fifth annual report launched

  • CO2 emissions down 15.8 per cent, new car CO2 emissions fall 1.2 per cent with average fuel efficiency up to 37.7mpg
  • 53 per cent fall in waste sent to landfill
  • 241,549 days of training for automotive industry employees

Towards Sustainability, the motor industry’s fifth annual report on sustainability has been published. The report, representing 98 per cent of UK automotive manufacturing, highlights the motor industry’s performance balancing economic goals, with its environmental and social responsibilities.

Towards Sustainability reports a continuing improvement in environmental processes. Since 2002, carbon dioxide emissions have fallen 15.8 per cent, equating to 42 per cent per vehicle produced. Energy usage per vehicle has fallen by 30 per cent and water usage by 39 per cent. New car average CO2 emissions have seen a fall of 1.2 per cent, currently averaging 172.1g/km, whilst fuel efficiency has seen gains of 2.7 miles per gallon since 1999. Average new car fuel economy stands at 37.7mpg.

By using lean design processes and techniques, the total amount of production waste which is then sent to landfill, has fallen 53 per cent since 2001. Three years ago, 121,207 tonnes of automotive waste were sent to landfill, a level that now stands at 56,743 tonnes. This now represents less than 18kg per vehicle, down from 66kg in 2001.

The automotive sector remains strong with nine global players operating in the UK alongside a variety of niche manufacturers, the components and aftermarket sectors – more than in any other EU country. The report shows a sectoral turnover of £43.5bn in 2003, a small rise from 2002. Manufacturers produced 1.85m new vehicles with 2.94m new vehicles registered for the first time. The value of UK automotive exports now stands at £21.5 billion, with £955 million spent on business research and development.

Information on a range of new social indicators has also been included for the first time. Data shows that industry employees participate in nearly a quarter of a million training days every year.

However, industry recognises a need to boost the number of female employees which currently stand at 9.6 per cent. The spread of female employees varies from four per cent in manufacturing operations through to 35 per cent in retail and distribution companies.

Family friendly initiatives in all areas have helped the annual turnover rate of all employees fall to just 6.1 per cent. This compares with 32 per cent in the call centre industry, 18 per cent in the distribution and logistics industries and a national average of 25 per cent.

Commenting on the report’s findings, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘SMMT’s fifth sustainability report clearly shows the motor industry’s commitment to improving the environmental performance in manufacturing as well as in new vehicles. It outlines the future contribution of the industry in addressing the challenges of sustainable mobility. It is particularly encouraging to see the levels of progress being made in reducing CO2, waste and energy, as well as the many ways employees benefit from being involved in such a competitive and progressive industry.’

The report can be downloaded below.

Note to Editors:
1. The first annual Sustainability Strategy was launched by the SMMT in March 2000 with 11 major signatories. The fifth report includes 22 signatories, reporting 38 manufacturing sites.


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