On March 22 – 23, 2016, the G7-Alliance on Resource Efficiency hosted a workshop on the use of life cycle concepts in supply chain management to achieve global resource efficiency. AIAG was represented by 12 member companies: General Motors Company; Ford Motor Company; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; BASF Corp.; DENSO International America Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation; Robert Bosch; Honda North America, Inc.; Cummins Inc.; ArcelorMittal; Johnson Controls, Inc.; and U.S. EPA (which hosted the event).
The workshop was the result of a Leaders’ Declaration developed by the G7 leaders at their annual summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, in June 2015. In the Declaration, the leaders stated their commitment to “the values of freedom and democracy, and their universality, to the rule of law and respect for human rights, and to fostering peace and security.”
“The protection and efficient use of natural resources is vital for sustainable development,” agreed the leaders, so the G7-Alliance on Resource Efficiency was established as a forum for “sharing knowledge and creating information networks.” The Alliance was charged with collaborating with businesses, SMEs, and other stakeholders to advance opportunities for resource efficiency, promote best practices, and foster innovation.
The stated purpose for the March workshop, held in Arlington, Virginia, was to:
- Identify and document best practices related to the use of life cycle concepts in supply chain management that are scalable, replicable, and transferrable across organizational and geographic boundaries.
- Provide a forum for industry, policy makers, researchers, and interest groups to explore key challenges to implementing life cycle concepts and engage in conversations that will advance resource efficiency practices across the supply chain.
- Share information about tools, resources, and programs available to help manufacturers, suppliers, and others improve their use of life cycle concepts to achieve greater resource efficiency.
- Generate potential ideas for voluntary individual and collective action.
- Life Cycle Thinking Exercise: Creating a Vision for the Resource-efficient Vehicle (Product or Service) of the Future featured auto-industry panelists Mike Swift, Auto Recycling Association; Karen Cecil, Cummins; John Bradburn, General Motors. The panel shared their perspectives on creating a vision for the resource-efficient product or service of the future.
- In Upstream Efforts to Address Resource Efficiency, leaders from public and private-sector organizations discussed new programs, best practices, and success stories from various industry perspectives. Ursula Mathar, BMW Group, used the Global Guidance Principles in her discussion on using life cycle thinking and supply chain engagement to achieve resource efficiency. Yuko Sakai shared information on Toyota’s Challenge for Resource Recycling Management.
- In one of five facilitated breakout sessions on Upstream Efforts to Address Resource Efficiency, Sue Rokosz, Ford PACE Program, was a conversation starter for improving communication and information-sharing about resource efficiency across the supply chain.
- In Improving Resource Efficiency in Operations: Use and at End-of-Life (or Second Life) with Supply Chain Engagement, leaders from public and private-sector organizations discussed factors that contributed to their success. Automotive industry presentations included:
- Yuji Yamaguchi, Ministry of the Environment, Japan: Japan’s initiatives to promote resource efficiency and the 3Rs in the auto sector
- Adam Muellerweiss, Johnson Controls: Insights from the circular economy of automotive batteries
- Peter Bartel, Robert Bosch: Ensuring long-term availability of remanufactured spare parts
- Lynn Laszewski, PepsiCo: The realities of end-of-life resource efficiency in the food and beverage industry
- Paolo Masoni, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy: Extracting value from end-of-life materials, specifically shredding residues and tires
- A second facilitated breakout series titled Improving Resource Efficiency in Operations: Use and at End of Life offered sessions on (1) creating value from waste material with John Bradburn, General Motors, and Kevin Butt, Toyota North America; (2) improving end-of-life recycling with Steve Fletcher, Auto Recyclers.
- Critical Factors for Successful Implementation included a panel discussion to explore two critical factors: scaling up ideas and engaging in cooperative relationships across the supply chain and beyond. This session was followed by Exercise to Advance Innovative Ideas, where participants engaged others to discuss their ideas for improving resource efficiency and addressing key challenges. Each table was tasked with choosing one idea to put forward for consideration during the final session.
- A final session, Moving from Ideas to Action, was dedicated to audience-specific discussion to process workshop findings, identify potential actions, and articulate transferrable themes. The auto sector was one of five dedicated groups.
Going forward, the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency will conduct workshops at least once a year. Virtual workshops and videoconferences will be used to maximize benefits while limiting travel requirements.