Last week was an important milestone in enhancing sustainability in the automotive supply chain. The European Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability, consisting of eleven automotive manufacturers and facilitated by CSR Europe, organised the Sustainable Supply Chain Logistics Forum in Berlin, Germany on September 20.

About 100 participants, coming from automakers, inbound and outbound logistics suppliers and associations attended the forum. Based on the Automotive Industry Guiding Principles to Enhance Sustainability Performance in the Supply Chain, the participants engaged in open dialogue and interactive discussions on the key sustainability challenges across the automotive logistics supply chains, the root causes of these challenges, and how both suppliers and automakers can overcome them. The topics tackled were related to environmental sustainability, social sustainability (living wages, health & safety, attractiveness of the sector to young people) as well as what innovative solutions can be implemented in order to respond to the sustainability challenges in the transport sector in the future.

All participants and speakers agreed that the best approach to scale up sustainability is through close collaboration and a common approach to be adopted by OEMs and suppliers.

Speakers included representatives from Scania, International Road Transport Union, Association of European Vehicle Logistics, European Shippers Council, Vos Logistics, DHL, Toyota Motor Europe, Railsponsible and Koopman Logistics Group. The second half of the day was dedicated to break-out sessions to encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience between the participants. They were moderated by BMW Group, Daimler, Scania and CSR Europe.

The forum was organised with the support of International Road Transport Union and the Association of European Vehicle Logistics.

“The Sustainable Supply Chain Logistics Forum is a first step to engage in an in-depth dialogue between inbound/outbound logistics suppliers and car makers. Given the significant role this sector plays, the European Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability will continue its efforts to unlock the value of enhanced long term supplier collaboration to further embed sustainability in the global value chains. Innovation is key and we should not hinder the opportunity to go beyond compliance.” said Stefan Crets, Executive Director CSR Europe.

Jan Nemec, Deputy General Delegate, International Road Transport Union said “Striking the right balance between social, environmental and economic sustainability can be a challenge for every logistics supplier. I was glad to see that we managed to sit down together, OEMs and suppliers, and discuss how we can respond to the sustainability challenges of the future by going beyond compliance.  IRU was happy to partner with European Automotive Working Group for this event and we are looking forward to the next steps”

Mike Sturgeon, Executive Director, Association of European Vehicle Logistics said “ECG regards any attempt by the industry to co-ordinate and collaborate on major topics such as this as the best way forward for all parties. A standardised approach by the industry is essential and to see so many logistics suppliers gathered together for this meeting sends a very positive message and bodes well for the future. Now we need to get the rest of the industry around the same table.”

About the European Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability

The Working group consists of several automotive manufacturers working together – in addition to their own efforts – to enhance sustainability in their supply chains. As of July 2016, the following 11 companies are members of the group: BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen AG, Volvo Group, Volvo Cars.