Suppliers Partnership for the Environment Advances Sustainable Automotive Supply Chain

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) – an association of global automakers and their suppliers working together to advance environmental sustainability through the automotive supply chain –  announced the publication of a new guidance document, “Global Product Chemical Compliance Process Management”.

The guidance document was produced through a collaborative process by the SP Global Product Chemical Compliance Process Management Work Group, whose members include automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC, Stellantis, and Toyota Motor North America.

Companies wishing to supply materials or items to automotive OEMs are required to understand and enter chemical data in the International Material Data System (IMDS).  The purpose of this new document is to provide consistent quality improvement guidelines for the reporting of vehicle assembly, component, material, and substance content vertically within the automotive supply base.  Supplier self-assessment of their quality processes and continuous improvement steps are expected to continually increase the overall quality of the industry’s IMDS data.

“We set out to organize a collaborative initiative across the automotive industry to evaluate product chemical compliance management processes within the supply chain. The desired goal is to further improve consistency and accuracy in the data reported by suppliers in IMDS and enable OEMs to appropriately evaluate and mitigate chemical management risk within the supply chain,” said Alissa Yakali, Sustainability and Supplier Relations Manager, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC

A common industry-supported Global Product Chemical Compliance Process Management Questionnaire is also being developed to help support individual OEMs’ assessment of the conformance of their suppliers’ internal management processes to the recommendations outlined in this guidance document where needed.  Information collected from the Questionnaire is intended to assist with the future development of additional supplier education and training materials to promote continuous improvement.

The participating OEM members recommend that automotive suppliers carefully review this new guidance to benchmark their existing internal product chemical compliance management processes against industry best practice and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.  Suppliers are also strongly encouraged to cascade this information along the automotive supply chain as best practice guidance at all levels.

“Appropriately addressing substances of concern within the supply chain has been a key focus of the automotive industry for decades. This new voluntary effort is designed to build on that established foundation and to support consistent communication with the supply base to advance best practice and promote continuous improvement in companies’ internal chemical compliance management and reporting processes,” said Kellen Mahoney, Director, Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP).

The new guidance document is available to download at no cost at https://www.supplierspartnership.org/chemical-guidance

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