Sustainability Sessions: Solera and Simplicity Car Care host Automotive Industry Sustainability Summit

Toronto, Ontario — Simplicity Car Care and Solera Audatex joined forces on Tuesday in Toronto to host an inaugural Automotive Industry Sustainability Summit dedicated to paving a road to net-zero in the collision repair and auto claims economies.

Highlighting the event was the joint launch of The Canadian Claims Economy Sustainability Council a joint initiative of Simplicity Car Care and Solera and open to all industry collaborators. According to Bill Brower, senior VP of global industry relations and North American claims sales for Solera, the purpose of the council is to identify, discuss and propose solutions to industry problems to ensure a sustainable future for both insurance and collision repair industries. Brower says key pillars will rest in collaborative engagement; the establishment of stakeholder partnerships to address and solve sustainability challenges and to leverage knowledge of key industry experts, government regulators and other sustainability professionals.

Opening remarks from Paul Prochilo, CEO of Simplicity Car Care were followed by an analysis and discussion on environmental sustainability. More than 70 attending with representatives from repairers, suppliers and a majority of insurance industry personnel.

Keynote speaker Helle Bank Jorgensen, founder, CEO and environmental social governance (ESG) specialist for Competent Boards provided a global outlook on sustainability efforts, including goals and aspirations for reaching net-zero initiatives in Canada and across the globe.

“I want you to skate to where the puck is going to be,” said Jorgensen, using Wayne Gretzky’s famous line. “We can’t say, ‘Let’s wait until we have the regulation,’ or ‘let’s wait until we see the effects of climate change.’ Because it will be too late.” 

She added that her top three pieces of advice for businesses keen to pursue sustainable efforts are, first, to “get started”; second, to collaborate and third, to take a look at your data points to deliver a path that gets your business where you want to be.

“You need to get started,” she said. “It would be a stupid thing to just ‘wait and see,’ because this is really happening.”

Jorgensen also emphasized that “for too long, different departments have been working in silos.”

“We need to engage. We need to stop thinking silos–no one is speaking to each other. We as leaders need to step up. The sooner we do it, frankly, the more fun we are going to have.”

Ultimately, the first step is to “buckle up” for waves of change, concluded Jorgensen, adding that the current shift is not unlike the introduction of seatbelt laws in the 1970s.

“Think of how many lives were saved with that proactive action. We can do the same, here and now.”

Following a Q&A session with Jorgensen, executive insurers took the stage for a highly anticipated executive insurance panel. The panel was moderated by Jorgensen, and included insights from Michelle Li, VP of planning, performance and business partnering at Aviva; Alena Kharkavets, VP of supply chain claims at Intact Insurance; Paul Reichart, senior director of MSO and insurance at LKQ Corporation and Paul Prochilo, CEO at Simplicity Car Care.

The panel touched on a range of topics, from repair versus replace practices to educating the industry on the importance of pursuing a sustainable future.

Prochilo emphasized that Simplicity Car Care takes great care to repair whenever possible.

“We make an effort to repair wherever possible, to reduce our carbon footprint. And, in the cases where we cannot repair a part…that’s where the use of green recycled parts is key. It reduces our carbon footprint by 42 percent.” 

Reichart highlighted that LKQ is taking sustainability “very, very seriously.”

“There is no closed door for us at LKQ,” he added, specifying that anyone is welcome to discuss sustainable efforts with the company, should they reach out to Reichart to facilitate.

Kharkavets stressed that education is a critical part of pursuing sustainable processes–and it needs to happen now.

“There are large businesses that have a responsibility to spread awareness; to facilitate and endorse the smaller players to come up with innovative solutions,” said Kharkavets of Intact Insurance, adding a factual tidbit–it takes 500 years for a single car bumper to decompose in the landfill.

“For too long, we’ve focused on a one-dimensional view of the claims process,” she added.

Li pointed out that, in her perfect world that works toward sustainability, there would be a set of standards.

“I would love if we could get some sort of standardized data, a consistent methodology for all of us to work towards together. So we’re all singing the same song,” she said.

Following the panel, attendees heard a presentation on leveraging technology to measure and manage CO2 emissions in the automotive claims economy, presented by Bill Brower, senior VP of global industry relations and North American claims sales for Solera.

A key point from Brower’s presentation: 76 percent of consumers say they will discontinue a relationship with companies that treat the environment they operate in “poorly.” Further, 80 percent of global investors say that the way a company manages ESG risks is an important factor in their investment decision-making.

Brower shared further data that showed 11 front bumper replacements can equate to -236kg of carbon emission reduction, which is equivalent to four tree seedlings grown over 10 years.

Check out our photos from the summit below, and stay tuned for further video coverage.

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