North American car manufacturers at bottom of 'world sustainability league'

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Washington, October 30 (ANI): In the largest ever international study of the global automobile sector's sustainability performance, North American car manufacturers have come bottom of the league.

The study, entitled 'Sustainable Value in Automobile Manufacturing', looks at the sustainability performance of 17 leading car manufacturers worldwide between 1999 and 2007.

It has been published by researchers from Queen's University Management School in Belfast, in partnership with researchers from the Euromed Management School Marseille, and the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) in Berlin.

The report details how Asian car manufacturers are outperforming their North American, and many of their European competitors, in using their environmental and social resources more efficiently.

It provides a full account of the societal impacts of car production, including issues such as the volume of greenhouse gas emissions from production facilities and the number of work accidents recorded by a company.

It also looked at how efficiently car manufacturers used key natural resources compared with their industry peers and how much profit or loss was generated with these resources.

The study calculates the ratio of sustainable value to sales so that different companies can be directly compared irrespective of their size.

Sustainable value includes not just the use of economic capital but also environmental and social resources.

It is the first value-based method for assessing corporate sustainability performance.

In the report Asian car manufacturers including Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Honda, and to a lesser extent, Suzuki have all out-performed their North American competitors.

In stark contrast to the Asian manufacturers, both North American carmakers Ford and General Motors (GM) lie well into negative territory, with GM showing the most striking downside trend.

According to Professor Frank Figge from Queen's University Management School, one of the authors of the study, "Economic crisis, energy crisis, climate crisis and recent global developments have affected the automobile industry like few other sectors. Never before has it been as important for car manufacturers to employ their economic, environmental and social resources wisely - and efficiently."

"The bottom line is that this study reveals big differences in sustainability performance in automobile manufacturing. This shows that the production process itself bears considerable room for improvement in terms of sustainability performance," he said.

"We hope car manufacturers and governments worldwide will take note of this important study," Professor Figge added. (ANI)

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