SP Releases Latest Sustainable Packaging Guidance for Automotive Manufacturing Operations

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) - an association of global automakers and their suppliers working together to advance environmental sustainability through the automotive supply chain - today announced the publication of a newly updated third edition of its Sustainable Packaging Specification Recommendations for Automotive Manufacturing Operations guidance document.

Updating the prior second edition last published in June of 2022, the document is designed to provide straightforward guidance to help automakers and their suppliers identify potential opportunities to source sustainable packaging designs for use in automotive manufacturing operations, based on proven best practices that have been implemented by industry environmental sustainability leaders.

The latest version provides expanded guidance on the viable recyclability of a range of different automotive packaging materials, including the addition of new materials such as vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCI), wood dunnage, and plastic dunnage trays. Additional information was added in this edition related to foam packaging products, which are commonly used to protect parts within returnable containers, and the challenges and opportunities to be considered in striving to improve circularity of foams. The update also includes information on circular economy design principles and highlights opportunities to improve the recyclability of automotive packaging in the design phase.

The new guidance is complemented by several existing SP resources, including Sustainable Packaging Specification Recommendations for Automotive Expendable Packaging and Automotive NA 48 x 45 Wood Stringer Pallet Specification Recommendations, as well as a forthcoming Feasibility Analysis for Consolidation of Automotive Supply Chain Packaging for Recycling expected to be published later this year.

The latest edition of the guidance document was produced through a collaborative process by SP's Sustainable Packaging Work Group which is co-chaired by Bridget Grewal of Magna International and Matt Marshall of Toyota Motor North America.

"The intention of our group is to investigate and educate our industry on best practices to reduce the amount of material that leaves our closed loop system of packaging and to increase the likelihood that packaging is diverted from the landfill or incineration. This forum has experts from the entire packaging supply chain collaborating to achieve a common goal, packaging circularity," said Bridget Grewal, Director of Packaging at Magna International.

SP Sustainable Packaging Work Group members contributing to the development and review of this guidance document included companies such as Absortech, Action Wood 360, Aicello, Armor Protective Packaging, Arplank Direct, Cellulose Material Solutions, Cortec Corporation, Covanta, Cummins, Decade Products, Doug Brown Packaging Products, EFP, ERA Environmental, ExpandOS, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Goodpack, Green Current Solutions, Green Processing Company, Honda Development & Mfg. America, Indigo Packaging, iPAK, Labelmaster, JSP, Magna International, MPS Group, Mustang Innovation, ORBIS Corporation, Packaging Products Inc., P2 Packaging, Pratt Industries, Primex, Real Quality Services, RecycleMax, Robert Bosch, Schaefer Plastics North America, Stellantis, The Royal Group, TriEnda, Toyota Motor North America, Toyota Tsusho America, Vantage Plastics, VMX International, Worldwide Foam, and, Zerust.

The SP Sustainable Packaging Work Group recommends that the sustainable packaging strategies outlined in the guidance document be reviewed within automotive companies' packaging design and sourcing considerations, where appropriate, and distributed widely across the automotive supply chain as best practice guidance.

"This guidance was developed in support of our members' vision of moving the automotive industry toward a circular materials economy, with the intention to provide information on opportunities to minimize automotive packaging waste and address barriers to recyclability and reuse in the design phase. We recognize that the journey toward a circular economy is challenging and that much work remains to be done, but that there are practical opportunities that may be considered today to promote innovation and continually strive to move materials further up the hierarchy to maximize their value," said Kellen Mahoney, Director, Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP).

The guidance document is available to download at no cost at www.supplierspartnership.org/sustainablepackaging.

Please note that SP guidance documents do not set forth any agreed upon or adopted industry rule, requirement or standard. Rather, the reader needs to independently determine its own organizational processes and practices.

About SP

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) provides a forum for global automotive manufacturers and their large and small suppliers to work together toward a shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact. Learn more at: www.supplierspartnership.org/.

Kellen Mahoney

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SOURCE Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP)