New reports propose common measures for circularity and cost-effective material decarbonization in the automotive industry

top picture


14 January, 2021




Geneva, 14 January 2021 – The Circular Cars Initiative (CCI) today launched two new reports highlighting concrete and collaborative actions for business and policymakers to increase circularity and reduce emissions in the automotive industry. The reports outline pathways and common measures of circularity that can improve the efficiency of car manufacture and use and accelerate decarbonization of materials.

CCI was jointly formed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Economic Forum with the overarching ambition to align the automotive industry with a 1.5-degrees scenario. The Initiative mobilizes stakeholders from the automobile ecosystem to leverage technologies, knowledge, business models, partnerships, funding and creativity that can help to eliminate or minimize the total life cycle emissions of cars.

CCI’s new publications are part of a series of framework reports developed to help the sector and its regulators better understand the new sustainable future of automotive mobility. The first report was launched in December 2020 and focused on the policy support needed to fully decarbonize the sector.

The second report, Raising Ambitions: A new roadmap for the circular automotive economy, defines a five-level taxonomy for circularity (0 = no circularity, 5 = net positive impact) and identifies business models that can generate more mobility and less waste.

Forging Ahead: A materials roadmap for the zero-carbon car is the last of the three reports and it puts the spotlight on material production. The report emphasizes that while electric vehicles can significantly reduce use-phase emissions, the energy and emissions-heavy production process of batteries requires particular attention from policymakers and businesses. With a carbon abatement model, the research shows that a significant abatement is possible for the auto industry today with little additional added vehicle material cost.

Given that car-based mobility is expected to grow globally by around 70% by 2030, these research results provide crucial insights for the automotive industry. To limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we need to halve emissions by 2030 and the recommendations and common language outlined in the latest CCI reports can guide our way forward.

“With the wealth of knowledge collectively created in 2020, the Circular Cars Initiative aims to set the agenda for automotive circularity in the next years. Together we want to further expand the field and prove the concepts of this crucial component of a future-compatible automotive industry,” said Thomas Deloison, Director, Mobility at WBCSD.

For more information, please contact Julia Mitic.