Using Sustainable Materials
Through our global materials strategy, we are increasingly using materials that are more sustainable from a total life cycle perspective, including recycled, renewable and recyclable materials, and working to decrease or eliminate less sustainable materials.
What’s in a Vehicle?
- Up to 40,000 parts
- 1,000 different materials
- 10,000 chemical substances
75% of a typical vehicle
We are increasing our use of high-strength steel, aluminum, magnesium and titanium to reduce weight and improve fuel economy, with no compromises in durability, safety or reliability.
Plastics, Elastomers, Textiles and Natural Materials
17% of a typical vehicle
We use a wide range of plastics with recycled content, while renewable, plant-based materials will reduce our dependence on finite resources and reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Fuels and Consumable Liquids
4% of a typical vehicle
Fuels, engine oil and lubricants are generally removed by dismantlers, and recycled or reused where possible.
Electronics, Ceramics, Glass and Other Compounds
3% of a typical vehicle
Some of these can be hard to recycle, so we work with suppliers, dismantlers and industry associations to share and implement best practices for dealing with them.
1% of a typical vehicle
Paint, adhesives and sealants are often a source of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions during manufacture. We are taking steps to replace these materials with alternatives, or change our processes to reduce or capture VOC emissions.
Our Sustainable Materials Strategy
We aim to use materials that have been obtained by socially sustainable means, that have lower environmental impacts and that provide equivalent or superior performance to existing materials. A material can be more or less sustainable based on factors including its origin (virgin, renewable or recycled), the methods used to acquire and process it, the emissions generated throughout its life cycle and its application.
The choice of materials is an important factor in a vehicle’s sustainability across all life cycle stages and throughout our value chain. It can influence the safety, fuel economy and performance of the vehicle, as well as the options for recycling or reusing components at the end of its life.
We continue to reduce the number of materials we use, and prioritize locally sourced materials where we can to minimize their carbon footprint.
We take a holistic view to the materials used in our vehicles, considering their impacts at every stage of a vehicle’s life cycle. This approach involves:
- Increasing our use of recycled materials
- Continuing to develop plant-based renewable materials
- Eliminating substances of concern
- Working on the health impacts of some materials to improve occupant health
- Addressing end-of-life impacts through improved recyclability
- Working with environmentally and socially friendly suppliers
- Continuing research on closed-loop recycling and second-life use of components