Toolkit | Project

Manufacturing – Automotive

Local Tier 1 Auto Parts Manufacturer: Toolkit Used to Respond to Sustainability Demands of Key Clients

By: Kirsi McLandress, Sustainability Associate – Tavares Group Consulting Inc.

September, 2013


In recent years, a growing number of large companies have begun asking their key suppliers for information on their management of sustainability. In certain sectors, including automotive manufacturing, this approach to influencing the sustainability of the supply chain has become the industry norm. Supply chain management has made sustainability implementation an issue of extreme importance to countless companies that rely on their supplier relationship with one of the large corporations that are moving towards a more sustainable supply chain.

The clients in this case study are two Tier 1 manufacturers of frame components and rubber line products to several of the world’s largest automotive brands. The clients have been receiving sustainability questionnaires from the majority of their automotive customers, and therefore each made the strategic decision to develop and implement their own corporate sustainability program. This would ensure the clients would be in the position to respond to their customers’ sustainability information requests in a timely and efficient manner.

The clients have a long history of utilizing management system approaches within their manufacturing processes for quality control, environmental management, and workplace health and safety. Thus the clients are very comfortable with the key concepts of process-based management and working within a cycle of continual improvement. However, the clients were struggling to unify their existing efforts within a comprehensive sustainability program. The Toolkit immediately resonated with the clients, as it provided them with the tools to plan and implement their sustainability efforts utilizing a process-based management system approach that they are familiar with. The clients are currently using the Toolkit as the central framework in the establishment of their corporate sustainability program.