Embrace green parts to support your fleet sustainability ambitions
Thought Leadership

Duncan McClure Fisher

Embrace green parts to support your fleet sustainability ambitions

Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of Intelligent Motoring discusses the benefits of ‘green parts' for fleets and businesses

The drive towards a greener motoring future is changing up a gear. Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders1 (SMMT) last year revealed that the UK automotive industry’s production carbon footprint fell by 11.2% in 2021 compared with the previous year, to reach its lowest level since records began in 1999. Significantly contributing to this reduction, is the recovery of usable car parts from end-of-life vehicles, for use as ‘green’ parts in service, maintenance and repair (SMR).  

The government advises that authorised dismantlers of vehicles aim to recycle 95% of the vehicle’s weight2, leading to a potentially very large pool of reconditioned parts entering the supply chain. As a result of the increased focus on parts recycling, the SMMT figures also revealed that waste to landfill per vehicle fell to its lowest ever level in 2021 – down 96.2% in 23 years, and 2.6% down year-on-year. These are certainly encouraging figures, yet could the fleet industry be doing more when it comes to using green parts.  

This is where fleet managers and businesses can take a proactive role by reviewing and updating fleet policies to automatically use sustainable repairs, where appropriate. This in turn can help them remain in-line with their corporate sustainability values. 

Carbon Impact of Parts  

When a car reaches the end of its life, it usually still contains a multitude of perfectly safe and useable parts. Taking out such components and giving them a second life as green parts in other vehicles helps reduce the automotive industry’s production carbon footprint even further. Every part recycled from an end-of-life car is one less that needs to be produced from scratch, saving resources and reducing CO2 emissions. 

Cost Implications  

According to Allianz Insurance the cost of motor claims have been rocketing3, and with OEM green parts costing as much as 70% less than the brand-new equivalent, it makes sense for dealers, garages and service providers to support their customers to keep their claims costs under control.  

Utilising the growing pool of green parts also helps navigate the ongoing supply chain challenges. Waiting times for new car parts have improved over the last few months but are still far too long – especially as unnecessary delays leave vehicles on the ramp for longer, therefore impacting on fleet efficiency and bottom-line costs.  

Reputable Green Parts  

Of course, it is vital that only reputable green parts suppliers are used for the sake of safety and reliability. Reputable green parts providers should be backed by The Vehicle Recyclers’ Association (VRA) Certification Scheme which provides independent assessments of a recyclers’ policies and procedures, to ensure every reclaimed vehicle part has been accurately identified, recorded, tested and graded. With all VRA Certified items meeting strict quality standards, consumers benefit from peace of mind, save money and play their part in protecting our environment. 

Fleet managers and businesses should be focusing on reducing claims costs and repair times, as well as reducing environmental waste and reducing carbon emission. What better way then choosing green parts. Already great strides are being taken by the industry to be more sustainable, let's continue that trajectory and make sure everyone is playing their part in a greener motoring future.  

Featured on Fleet News, 23th October 2023