Sustainability Leadership Symposium: The Automobile as a “Component” in the Personal Transportation System

November 4, 2013 - 1:00am - 5:00pm
Las Vegas Convention Center, Upper North Hall, N231

Hosted by AzkoNobel

This year’s Leadership Symposium will explore the topic of the automobile as a component within the larger “personal transportation system,” especially as this relates to the idea of repairing and refurbishing a vehicle versus buying a new one.

Emerging viewpoints in the study of sustainability challenge the concept of the automobile as anything more than a means of transportation that takes on a specific role within a larger system of transportation. While this may rile some, it begins to make sense when viewed from the broader perspective of sustainability.

Year over year model changes, low cost access to capital and incessant marketing drive consumers to desire and purchase new automobiles, versus operating ones that have been repaired or refurbished. Studies of the automotive life‐cycle indicate a significant portion of the total negative environmental impact occurs during a vehicle’s production and disposal phases, versus its use phase. This leads to the conclusion that vehicle repair and refurbishment can reduce the negative life‐cycle impacts caused by personal automotive transportation.

The discussion will center on ways in which industry stakeholders might work to change the perception of the automotive aftermarket industry – and the closely aligned collision repair industry – from one that is antagonistic toward the environment to one that can lead to a reduction in negative environmental impacts. Those who work in the industry – the talented individuals who repair and refurbish automobiles – constitute a vital human resource, one that can help mankind reduce the negative impacts of personal automotive transportation.

What can educators, employers, and others do to advance the aftermarket and collision repair industries as important stakeholders in creating a less environmentally harmful system of personal transportation?