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Stellantis expands circular economy reach in automotive

© Shutterstock / Jonathan WeissPost Thumbnail

Automotive giant Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) has announced plans to drive forward its Circular Economy Business Unit, projecting €2 billion in revenues by 2030. The work of the Unit is also expected to underpin Stellantis’ aggressive decarbonisation target of reaching carbon net zero by 2038.

  • Stellantis announced plans to grow circular economy revenues from €538m to €2 billion by the end of the decade.
  • While Stellantis derives most of its revenue from North America, it is the growth of regulation in the EU that is driving change.
  • Circular economy approaches are transforming the automotive sector with new expectat6ions around sustainable production and consumption. Renault is expected to follow suit.

Stellantis owns some of the world’s most iconic automotive brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys. The focus on circular economy models reflects the importance of cutting the negative environmental and social impact of the industry.

“Stellantis is in the race to build a sustainable and profitable business based on circular economy principles in the markets where we operate,” said Alison Jones, Stellantis Senior Vice President, Circular Economy Business Unit. “We have skilled colleagues and trusted partners tackling our current activities. With our 4R mindset, we are now scaling up with an intense rigor, building our capabilities, teams and facilities, while creating a smart, integrated ecosystem to better manage material scarcity and our drive to carbon net zero.”

With the expansion of circular economy activities, the business unit is also launching its new SUSTAINera label for parts and accessories, indicating a savings of up to 80% materials and 50% energy as compared to their equivalent new parts.

The values have been determined by conducting a life-cycle analysis of the corresponding best-seller in each product family in accordance with a methodology approved by Sphera, an independent company.

Stellantis circular economy objectives

As one of the seven business units announced in the company’s Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, the Circular Economy Business Unit is expanding its rigorous, 360-degree approach based on the 4R strategy – reman (remanufacture) , repair, reuse, and recycle – to meet the Company’s stated ethical responsibilities for the future, as well as opening up new financial and market opportunities.

The main objectives of the Circular Economy Business Unit are extending the life of vehicles and parts, ensuring that they last for as long as possible, and returning material and end-of-life vehicles to the manufacturing loop for new vehicles and products.

This methodology compliments the principles of ‘Design for the Circular Economy,’ which are core to the recently launched Citroën ‘oli’, a conceptual SUV that uses lightweight and recycled materials, sustainable production processes, affordability, durability for an extended service life and responsible end-of-life recyclability.

Breaking down the 4R’s of Stellantis’ circular economy approach

There are four core elements on the use of circular economy manufacturing, and that’s no different in the automotive sector. The four approaches are:

Remanufacture – where used, worn or defective parts are thoroughly dismantled, cleaned and remanufactured to OEM specifications. Nearly 12,000 parts covering 40 product lines, including electric vehicle batteries, are available.

Repair – where worn parts are repaired and reinstalled into customers’ vehicles. In 21 locations around the world, e-repair centers work on electric vehicle batteries.

Reuse – where (for Stellantis) approximately 4.5 million multi-brand parts in inventory, still in good condition, are recovered from end-of-life vehicles and sold in 155 countries through its B-Parts e-commerce platform.

 Recycle – where production scraps and end-of-life vehicles are fed back into the manufacturing process. In just six months, the business unit has collected 1 million recycled parts.

In addition to circular economy hubs, the business unit will use ‘local loops,’ to keep products and materials within countries, speeding deliveries for customers. In Brazil, key parts, i.e., starter motors and alternators from Stellantis brand vehicles, are remanufactured, distributed and sold across 1,000 local dealerships − supporting the Circular Economy philosophy and the drive to carbon net zero.

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