Sustainability Award in Automotive 2021 - The winners

Sustainability Award in Automotive 2021 - The winners

May 4, 2021

The award for holistic sustainability in the automotive industry.

A joint initiative

The 'Sustainability Award in Automotive', jointly organized by the ATZ/MTZ Group and Roland Berger, honors companies whose products, processes and initiatives have a holistic impact on sustainability in the automotive industry . The goal is to set concrete assessment standards in order to provide orientation and highlight new perspectives.

From more than 50 projects submitted, a renowned jury awarded prizes in the categories Drive Technology, Best Startup, Complete Vehicle, Supply Chain, Operations, Best Business Model and Holistic Sustainability Approach to companies that take a forward-looking and sustainable approach to the environment and resources.

The winners of the eight categories

Driveline Technology: Trailer Dynamics

The winner in the Drive Technology category was Trailer Dynamics for its long-haul truck electrification concept, in which a powerful electric axle replaces one of the trailer's non-driven axles.

Best Startup: UBQ Materials with Mercedes-Benz

Best Startup was Mercedes-Benz's collaboration with waste recycling startup UBQ Materials. It is currently testing the potential applications of a new thermoplastic material in the production of automotive parts that is produced by converting unsorted household waste.

Complete vehicle: Röchling Automotive

The complete vehicle category was won by Röchling Automotive with its PLA-based biopolymers project. The polymers consist of at least 90% ingredients derived from sugar cane, sugar beet or cellulose, for example.

Supply Chain: Audi

In the Supply Chain category, Audi won for its strategy that, in addition to a sustainability rating, also uses a CO2 program in the supply chain and the supporting use of AI in the group.

Operations: Albert Handtmann Metallgusswerk

In the Operations category, Albert Handtmann Metallgusswerk came out on top, saving energy at its new light metal casting plant in Kechnec, Slovakia, through efficient equipment and an intelligent heating and cooling concept

Best Business Model: Circular Economy Solutions

Circular Economy Solutions presented the winning project in the Best Business Model category with its CoremanNet project, an international logistics network for all-parts recycling in the automotive aftermarket. Compared to new production, this re-manufacturing massively saves primary raw materials and significantly reduces energy consumption and production costs.

Holistic approach to sustainability (OEM): Polestar

Polestar came out on top as the manufacturer in the Holistic Sustainability Approach category. Polestar's Chinese plant is the only automotive plant in China to achieve Gold status in the globally recognized LEED rating system. The plant is powered by renewable electricity and focuses on energy-efficient buildings and land use, as well as employee well-being.

Holistic approach to sustainability (supplier): Dana Incorporated.

Dana Incorporated won in the Holistic Sustainability Approach (Supplier) category. Dana developed a new electric motor that extends battery life and duty cycles with high efficiency.

Environmental. Social. Governance. Holistic sustainability within the ESG framework.

Changes in society, finance and politics, as well as an intrinsically motivated corporate rethink across the economy, have caused sustainability to evolve from a 'nice to have' to a basic requirement for future business success. Thus, sustainability is becoming the new currency of business and is subject to correspondingly stricter and measurable evaluation criteria. The topic of sustainability goes far beyond the reduction of CO2 emissions. This is underlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that UN member states signed up to in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We at Roland Berger, in common with many others, define sustainability along three dimensions: Environmental, Social and Governance – or ESG for short. Sustainable products, processes and initiatives are therefore recognized within the Sustainability Award in Automotive in close alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the three ESG dimensions.

For more information about the ESG framework and how to make your company sustainable now, we recommend our article Sustainability – Here to stay .

Sustainability pioneers wanted: Eligibility criteria.

With the Sustainability Award in Automotive, the ATZ/MTZ Group and Roland Berger honor the most sustainable companies in the automotive industry. The award is aimed at manufacturers of passenger cars, light & heavy commercial vehicles, construction and agricultural machinery and off-highway vehicles as well as their suppliers and subcontractors from Europe.

We look for products, processes or initiatives from all areas in companies in the above-mentioned industries that make a significant contribution to at least one of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals ("do good") and do not significantly impair any of these goals ("do no harm"). Furthermore, submissions should deliver what they promise. This must be verifiable and made transparent, e.g. through an academic study or other type of reporting.

From individual components to the entire supply chain: Award categories.

The Sustainability Award in Automotive, first presented in 2021, honors innovative products, processes and initiatives that shape the sustainability of the automotive industry. Winners from each of the three following categories were selected from among the participating companies:

  1. Drive Technology
  2. Complete Vehicle
  3. Operations & Supply Chain

The award can be conferred in one or more of the three dimensions 'Environmental', 'Social' and 'Governance'. An application can be judged a winner in one or more of the ESG dimensions.

Pioneering spirit is rewarded: The selection process.

The call to participate in the Sustainability Award in Automotive is aimed at manufacturers of passenger cars, light & heavy commercial vehicles, construction and agricultural machinery and off-highway vehicles as well as their suppliers and subcontractors. In a multi-stage selection process, the most sustainable products, processes or initiatives in each of the three award categories are honored.

Applicants initially filled out an online application form and were then preselected according to a defined catalog of criteria. In a next step, the remaining applications were reviewed by our top-class jury comprising representatives of the worlds of academia, industry and media. The winners of the respective award categories were picked by the jury from 23 finalists and announced on May 4, 2021.

If you have any further questions, please contact our expert Christian Boehler.

* The awarded sustainability seals can be purchased by the winning companies for promotional use.

Further readings