Key insights on how to decarbonize the automotive industry

Friday, 12 May, 2023

The automotive industry is rapidly evolving and the demand for sustainable and efficient products is at an all-time high. In light of this, meeting Net Zero targets has become the norm for automakers and their supply chain partners. However, there is a growing need for these products to be both affordable and of high quality, while still delivering exceptional performance.

Babak Kianan, who is LCA Specialist at Höganäs and board member of Swedish Life Cycle Center, recently attended the European Automotive Decarbonization and Sustainability Summit 2023 in Frankfurt, Germany. Here he shares his thoughts and insights about the conference, including the key solutions discussed during the event.

What was the conference about?

The automotive industry is facing increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable. This is due to several factors, including stricter environmental regulations, changing consumer preferences, and the urgent need to address climate change.

As we know, most automotive companies have made a plan to decarbonize. However, there are still many challenges during this process. Hence, we gathered during April 12th-13th in Frankfurt, Germany, and the European Automotive Decarbonization and Sustainability Summit 2023 brought us some practical and foresighted ideas related to decarbonizing the automotive industry. The event aimed to drive innovation and collaboration within the industry and promote sustainable practices that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

What is your take home messages?

The message is totally clear, and that is we need every actor in the automotive industry supply chain (e.g., car manufacturers, Tier 1 and 2, suppliers, commodity traders, and fleet managers) to gear up for the task and collaborate to decarbonize the automotive industry. We also need to gain and implement a life cycle perspective and seek solutions beyond Net Zero targets. So, we can minimize the risk of trapping into climate change and/or CO2 funnel perspective and instead realize the magnitude of our global sustainability challenge and how other environmental and social challenges (e.g., biodiversity, ecotoxicity, water scarcity) intertwine with global warming and climate change.

Another crucial aspect is the trade-off among the key performance indicators. Meaning, the automotive industry supply chain products not only need to meet their Net Zero targets and beyond that, but also they need to be affordable and at the same time illustrate high quality and perform efficiently.