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North America automobile sector bottom of 'world sustainability league'
Date:10/29/2009

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.

There is a mixed picture among European manufacturers. While BMW tops the ranking of all 17 manufacturers in most of the years assessed, other European carmakers PSA (Peugeot, Citron), Renault, Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler/Daimler AG only
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Contact: Andrea Clements
a.clements@qub.ac.uk
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

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