In the pursuit of a sustainable future, the automotive industry stands at a critical juncture. The Circular Cars Initiative (CCI), forged in collaboration with the World Economic Forum aims to unite stakeholders across the automotive ecosystem. At its core lies a commitment to circularity principles. We look at the CCI's recent analyses and publications, focusing particularly on automotive steel and explore the transformative potential of circular economy solutions.

Introduction to the CCI

The Circular Cars Initiative (CCI), jointly formed with the World Economic Forum, connects stakeholders across the automotive landscape, advocating for the integration of circularity principles to mitigate total life-cycle emissions. With a primary objective of advancing towards a 1.5°C-compliant automobility system, the CCI aspires to establish the largest multi-stakeholder coalition with a circularity focus in the mobility sector.

Beyond electrification : Material optimization

In recent publications, the CCI has focused on batteries and steel and underscored the significance of addressing the environmental impact of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) beyond direct emissions reduction. While BEVs mark a substantial stride in emission reduction within transportation, it only addresses a fragments of the industries environmental footprint. The CCI contends that circular economy offers a systemic solution by reimagining and restructuring the entire life cycle of automotive products and that the approach may emphasize the importance of extending product lifespan through design for durability, reuse and remanufacturing, and prioritizes the recycling of materials to minimize waste.


Steel as a circular economy candidate

Steel accounts for 16% of BEV material emissions, presenting a crucial opportunity for deep decarbonization in the automotive sector. While primary steelmaking dominates, secondary steel sourced from scrap presents a viable alternative. The CCI advocates for leveraging secondary steel as a way for OEMs to meet upcoming regulatory requirements, prevent stock accumulation, and differentiate OEMs through circular economy practices.


Assessing current policy frameworks

When assessing the current policy frameworks across the regions of EU, China and US, the CCI does highlights the lack of incentivizes for high value recycling and in turn proposes five policy levers that policy makers should consider to drive the increased use of secondary steel in the automotive industry.

1. Introducing material-specific and quality of recovery-related recycling targets

2. Minimizing illegal exports and dismantling of vehicles

3. Ensuring a sufficient supply of high-quality scrap before introducing mandatory recycled content targets

4. Improving transparency around steel scrap quantity, quality and prices

5. Investing in the development of sorting and separation, as well as scrap upgrading and beneficiation technologies

The increased use of secondary steel into automotive manufacturing is imperative for achieving deep decarbonization goals. By leveraging circular economy principles and implementing targeted policy interventions, stakeholders can drive the transition towards a sustainable automotive industry. Through collaboration and innovation, we can pave the way for a greener, more resilient future within mobility.

Is your organization assessing circularity within sourced materials like steel? Do you experience that your customers are requesting more traceability and data like recycled content? Are you actively engaging in discussions about sustainable practices and policies? As we navigate the complexities of environmental responsibility, it's crucial that we all play our part. This is one of many interesting topics we come across in the domain of supply chain traceability and sustainable practices. If you want to explore the topic further book a short introduction and lets have a discussion!

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Daniel Eriksson Pitt

Chief Commercial Officer
Daniel has extensive experience from the B2B Business Application space as Strategy & Business development lead as well as Digital Advisor. He is passionate about desirable and viable digital business solutions that realizes value.