Sernauto, Tecnalia Technical Research and Development Center and Fundación Repsol, in collaboration with the Spanish automotive and mobility technology platform “Move to the Future” (M2F), have organized the conference “Decarbonization and the Circular Economy in the Automotive Sector”. The purpose of the meeting was to transfer and identify the technological and economic impacts associated with decarbonization processes, as well as the opportunities that arise with the circular economy for the automotive industry.
The event included the intervention of the PRTE’s Commissioner for Industrial Decarbonization, Luis Colunga, who during his speech emphasized the importance of the Spanish manufacturing industry and presented the various help lines present within the PRTE worth 3,100 million euros. Colunga said they want to “decarbonize the industry by guaranteeing its competitiveness.” For this, the commissioner said that research and innovation as well as public-private cooperation are key.
In this sense, during the introduction of the meeting, Cecilia Medina, head of R+D+i and training at Cernauto and coordinator of the “Move to the Future” platform, emphasized the importance of the path towards decarbonization in the automotive sector. carried out in a progressive and systematic manner throughout the life cycle of the vehicle with a specific plan of measures taking into account environmental, economic, social and technological factors. And, moreover, it allows to continue to guarantee the mobility of citizens in different modes.
The automotive industry has been working on decarbonisation for years, driven by the search for increasingly efficient processes that seek to reduce costs and which are essentially linked to reducing primary energy consumption and reducing emissions. As Medina explained, “We are talking about innovation and technology in the service of decarbonization. The automotive components industry is one of the sectors that invests the most in innovation and development (R+D+I), Specifically three times the industrial average, which allows for increasingly safer and more efficient vehicles on the roads and manufactured in a more sustainable way.
In this sense, from the “Move to the Future” platform they are serving as a general working guide for the sector on the reorganization of the R+D+i strategic priority agenda and recommendations for public administration, with the aim that Call assistance is tailored to the actual needs of the ecosystem. “We are facing an unprecedented change and public-private collaboration is essential,” Medina concluded.
Next, a block of informational presentations occurred. In the first one, Asier Maztegi, Head of Decarbonization Business Development at Tecnalia, discusses ways to deal with decarbonization with competition criteria, taking into account the current economic, political and social situation and the importance of investing in R&D+i as a growth lever addressed to
For her part, María de Pablo, Director of Strategic Projects at Triodos Bank, explained the taxonomy regulation and ESG criteria (Environmental, Social and Governance), highlighting that climate and social impact assessments will become more and more common , In addition to the economic consequences, to obtain financing.
Finally, Susana Pérez, Smart Industry Director at Tecnalia, shared the benefits of implementing a digital passport to provide information on a product’s origin, composition and possibilities of repair and disassembly, thus circular took the side of the economy.
ITP was also attended by Abel Jimenez, Head of UltraFan and Product Decarbonization Engineering, who shared his experience in developing technological improvements for more sustainable aviation.
Following this, a roundtable was held on the automotive industry, which is facing the challenge of an inorganic production and consumption model and the circular economy. The following were the main conclusions of the debate moderated by Amaia Arteche, Head of Circular Economy Strategy at Tecnalia.
José Ignacio Linares, director of the Repsol Foundation Chair in Energy Transition at Comillas Pontifical University, explained that “the automotive industry has the opportunity to extend the circular economy to surrounding cities through fifth-generation district networks, which contribute to their residual heat.” Recombined through heat pumps. Internally, they already recycle the rejects to generate components for the manufacture of textiles or the integration of natural fibers.
On his part, Jockey Caballero, Senior Engineer, Technical Support and Auto Development at Repsol, said that “At Repsol Quimica we have a wide range of products from the point of view of circularity and decarbonization, from biobased to recycled, mechanical and chemical. All of them Therefore, I would like to highlight mechanical recycling as the option with the greatest availability and optimal solution to meet the demands of the auto sector.At this point, there is a need to have access to quality plastic waste to meet the demands of the sector. Being able is important.
Technia’s ESG Manager Cristina Perez argued that “decarbonization should be considered as an inherent element of the business strategy and from a holistic perspective, from the receiving of raw materials to the end of the product’s life. allows us to anticipate and take advantage of the business opportunities that come along. We believe that it is necessary to advise suppliers on this path, as carbon footprint is not an exclusive criterion today, but it will be and it is important for smaller suppliers. may be at a competitive disadvantage.
Mikkel Llona, CEO of Birziplastic, commented that “Recycled materials have started to be introduced into manufacturing processes. However, there is a lot of waste that is not being managed, either because it is not legislated or because Management is not carried out by waste managers. The aim is to develop technologies to extract value from industrial waste and some post-consumer materials in order to recover the fibers and re-integrate them.
Finally, a meeting of the Sustainability and Circular Economy Working Group of the “Move to the Future” platform was held, in order to gradually prepare a document of findings, which will align with the strategic priorities of the platform’s R+D+i automotive sector agenda. Will help reorganize.