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2017 Reflections

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AIAG and its member companies have worked collaboratively over the past several years to consistently offer new and eye-opening information to assist you and your company. Moving forward into 2018, we will continue in our mission to educate and inform to advance transparency in the automotive supply chain.

Here are some of the CR team’s accomplishments for 2017.

CR Summit – May 2-3, 2017

Helping automotive companies understand and navigate growing expectations from stakeholders on a broad range of corporate responsibility issues was the backbone of AIAG’s Corporate Responsibility Summit, held May 2-3, 2017. The Summit addressed a variety of CR topics, providing the latest information to help participants understand the role of collaboration in the most complex sustainability challenges.

This year, the two-day event offered three tracks:

  • Track 1:  Human Rights in the Global Supply Chain
  • Track 2: Environmental Management: Next Steps
  • Track 3: Globalizing Sustainability

Throughout the two days, attendee-wide general sessions were complemented by break-out tracks that addressed human rights in the supply chain, environmental management, and globalizing sustainability. During an extended lunch period, participants selected topic-specific tables to continue the conversation in their own areas of interest or chose networking tables to expand their CR community.

The annual Corporate Responsibility Summit helps AIAG members work collaboratively to improve ethically responsible approaches ranging from human rights and environmental responsibility to transparency throughout the supply chain.

Conflict Minerals Briefing – June 7, 2017

Conflict Minerals Reporting remains a topic of discussion for those addressing corporate compliance, both nationally and internationally. Potential changes to US legislation, new European directives and increasing customer requirements, require you to stay informed!

The 6th annual 2017 Conflict Minerals Industry Briefing offered an opportunity for both new professionals and those with experience in conflict minerals reporting to advance their knowledge level, with morning and afternoon sessions that offered something for everyone.

IMDS Conference – October 12-13, 2017

Why do we use IMDS? How does it impact you? This year’s IMDS Conference addressed those questions along with many more over 1-½ days, with an evening reception at the end of Day 1. To build upon last year’s discussions, the agenda also included legislative updates and IMDS topics that broaden the IMDS regulatory compliance reporting scope through the new IMDS Chemistry Manager.

CR Survey

It all began with a question: Which corporate responsibility issues will the automotive industry encounter over the next decade? In response to this inquiry, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) launched a survey designed to explore both current and emerging trends in corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR/S).

The first step in creating the survey involved qualitative interviews with a small number of individuals. AIAG reached out to influencers both inside and outside of the industry, as well as a sampling of other stakeholders to gather valuable feedback on budding and potential CR/S opportunities and challenges.

After the initial communication with industry thought leaders, questions were strategically crafted to focus on three broad issues, and six specific issues. The broad issues included:

  • Transformational Change: the impact of technological advances and consumer mobility behaviors on automotive product design, functionality, and us
  • Global Business Drivers Impacting the Supply Chain: external global forces impacting CR/S in the automotive industry
  • Governance and Ethics: CR/S policies on environmental, social, and labor issues

In addition to the more extensive categories, six specific topics also help guide, but not limit, respondents’ feedback. Survey takers are prompted to select two of the six issues, such as data reporting and management, CR/S in the supply chain, or product stewardship.

While the primary goal of the survey is to collect data on future CR/S issues — which will influence proactive initiatives to begin addressing those matters — an additional charitable goal makes participation even more rewarding. For each survey completed, AIAG will make a contribution to UNICEF, an international organization benefiting global childhood education and humanitarian efforts.

Once all survey feedback has been received, results will be analyzed and used to conduct final interviews. These last round meetings will serve as an opportunity to gain further insights, clarify interpretations, and prioritize issues. Ultimately, survey results will be presented in a comprehensive report, which will be made available in advance for those who provide their e-mail addresses at the survey’s conclusion.

December 31 is your last opportunity to make your voice heard — to take part in an ongoing conversation on industry issues and to impact the actions taken at AIAG and within the automotive community.  

In addition to doing your part to support corporate responsibility and sustainability in the automotive supply chain, here’s something else to feel good about: For every survey completed, AIAG will make a charitable contribution to UNICEF, an international organization benefiting global childhood education and humanitarian efforts.

New Energy Benchmarking Workgroup

Climate change ranks among the biggest threats facing our planet, and individual OEMs and suppliers have been reducing energy and implementing renewable electricity in their manufacturing facilities. Many are very interested in benchmarking their competitors and sharing best practices, and this information is not currently available with the exception of energy benchmarking for assembly plants from Energy Star®. Well-defined competitive data in the areas of quality, safety, and other areas of interest is readily available, but this is not the case for automotive manufacturing energy use and carbon emissions.

Prior efforts to develop manufacturing environmental benchmarking were unsuccessful. It is believed that the project scope was too ambitious, and the collection of benchmarking data on multiple environmental media from OEMs and suppliers created too large a workload. Now, if sufficient input can be obtained from a supplier perspective, AIAG believes this project can be completed in a reasonable amount of time and will provide significant value to workgroup members.

The expected output of this initiative is a set of data and best practices that will be shared among all participants and developed for publication with AIAG. North American OEM manufacturing climate change benchmarking data will be contained within an Excel spreadsheet. The first phase of the deliverable will include all manufacturing facilities; the second phase will include logistics. Although the data will only be available to participating members, a whitepaper will be available to all AIAG members.  

AIAG Offers New IMDS Training

Companies in the automotive industry supply chain face a growing number of governmental regulations both in the United States and globally on the management of chemicals used in the production process. Staying abreast of these changes and their impact on your company can be challenging, but AIAG now offers three new IMDS training courses to help you cope.

  • IMDS Basic Concepts and Application: This training course is designed to get you working in IMDS as quickly and efficiently as possible using both presentations and hands-on exercises. We use vast experience and real world examples to help you understand the particular challenges you may face in obtaining data from your suppliers and providing data to your customers. This training focuses on more than just how to run the IMDS interface and enter data. It includes the skills and processes needed to obtain and submit accurate quality data. You are the final judge of data quality, and this course will teach you the material basics and thought processes to apply in making judgements about data submitted by your suppliers. 
  • Advanced IMDS: This course provides an extension of the IMDS Basic Concepts and Application course to help you understand the regulations and anticipate their impact on your business. The growing concern regarding substance uses in products, recycling, or disposal has created a lot of legislations and global actions in the last years, and providing excellent quality material declaration data to your customers requires a thorough understanding of these regulations. Professionals must be prepared for the impact of these requirements on the future of their business. 
  • IMDS V11.0 Update and Chemistry Manager: This half-day class is designed to bring IMDS users up to speed on the changes made in Version 11 of IMDS with a major focus on the new Chemistry Manager functions. This class is designed for IMDS users who are competent in the system but require instruction only on any new features in version 11.