TNB News

Driving progress in all its forms

06 July 2023 #TNB News

A week after new SMMT figures showed British commercial vehicle output in May was at its highest level for the month since 2008, the sector has helped to deliver more good news. The latest annual Sustainability Report published today reveals that UK automotive manufacturing achieved its lowest CO2 footprint on record last year, with a -2.8% fall in carbon emissions per vehicle made in UK factories – while at the same time producing a record number of zero emission vehicles.

It reflects major industry investments to decarbonise production facilities and the vehicles that are made in them, with rising use of green energy and renewables generated on-site by manufacturers. The report, which is the lead industry story in today’s newsletter, also shows just how important the CV sector is to driving real-world progress, with case studies that reflect the outstanding work being done across the bus, truck and light commercial vehicle OEMs – not just in technological innovation and investment but to deliver social and cultural progress as well.

Progress is an oft-used word in the sector today, but it is a core value that underpins SMMT’s commitment to driving the motor industry, and for good reason. It necessarily includes efforts to bring our members together to lead positive cultural change, to the benefit of their employees, local communities and wider society.

This is already taking place in the industry, which was evident at the first SMMT LGBTQ+ & Allies event held at our London office this week, as part of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programme. A workshop led by human rights organisation Stonewall provided an opportunity for members to share their experiences and best practice of supporting LGBTQ+ employees.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes later opened a networking reception, discussing the value that the LGBTQ+ workforce brings to the industry, and that he felt honoured that members are committed to ensuring the industry continues its ongoing efforts to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion – in all its forms.

In a positive step forward for Transport News Brief, meanwhile, readers may have noticed that we have teamed up with Driving for Better Business, a free-to-access National Highways programme that is helping employers to ensure safer driving and road compliance.

It is only through accountable and sustainable change across the board, be it decarbonised manufacturing, inclusive work practices or responsible road use, that the UK automotive industry will achieve its long-term goals of a better, healthier, greener UK economy and society for all. Thankfully, all the right sounds are coming from the sector.

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