New report from Sustainability: Driving Sustainability, Can the Auto Sector deliver sustainable mobility?

Source: Sustainability, 14 September 2001

The sustainable mobility agenda which will take decades to resolve, will bring many major automotive companies to their knees… this is a key conclusion in the latest sector report from the sustainable development think-tank and strategy consultancy, SustainAbility.
Driving Sustainability treats sustainable mobility as a Gordian knot problem one of increasing complexity (1). The report outlines the four pivotal issues of sustainable
mobility: climate change, life cycle management, liveable cities, and emerging economies. It also benchmarks the reported performance on these issues of ten automotive manufacturing companies (2). The headline news is that DaimlerChrysler narrowly beats BMW Group and Volkswagen in this issues benchmark, with 50% of the total maximum score. The overall average score is 34%, a poor overall showing for
the automotive sector, showing the lack of commitment to, and in many cases
understanding of, the key sustainable mobility issues.
Climate change and life cycle management are more comprehensively addressed -however, automotive sector companies are mainly working from eco-efficiency mental (and business) models, stressing the role of technology, rather than focusing on the
bigger levers of behavioural or system-level changes. Emerging economies and
liveable cities rarely appear on the company radar screen.
The report Driving Sustainability looks at how comprehensively each automotive
company conveys its sustainable mobility strategy, if it has one, and goes into greater depth on each of the four issues: why they are a problem; do companies recognise them; how are they addressing them; and what is missing? The report also provides clues about the type of information that future sustainable mobility reporting might
include. We aim to encourage leading auto-makers to engage openly in the debate on future mobility solutions and to report more comprehensively on their strategies, progress and inevitable mishaps along the road, conclude the authors of the report, Alex Cutler, John Elkington and Tell Münzing of SustainAbility.