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

occasionally keep pace with the industry leaders. FIAT Auto consistently falls behind throughout the entire review period.

The study also shows the improvement potential that a car giant like General Motors has in how it could improve its long-term performance. The company achieved a sustainable value of minus 9.87 billion, in comparison with BMW which achieved a Sustainable Value of up to 2.8 billion from 1999 to 2007.

Ralf Barkemeyer from Queen's University Management School explained: "The study shows that in 2005 GM had by far the worst negative Sustainable Value within the industry which is mainly the result of a dramatic profits slump in 2005. But GM's value contributions from carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sodium oxide emissions as well as waste generation are very negative during the period 1999 to 2007. Its sodium oxide value contributions show the worst level of resource efficiency in the entire study.

"The example of several of the other car manufacturers shows that there is a multi billion euro potential for a company like GM to improve both its environmental and social and its financial performance simultaneously.

Professor Frank Figge from Queen's University Management School, one of the authors of the study, added: "Economic crisis, energy crisis, climate crisis and recent global developments have affected the automobile industry like few other sectors. Never before has it been as important for car manufacturers to employ their economic, environmental and social resources wisely and efficiently.

"However, while issues such as fleet consumption and CO2 emissions have been firmly put on the public agenda, the equally considerable environmental impact of the production phase of car manufacturing has as yet been largely ignored. The survey attempts to close this gap."

But accessing sustainability data for the whole sector remains a problem. Ralf Barkemeyer added: "While Tata could b
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Contact: Andrea Clements
a.clements@qub.ac.uk
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

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