The value of remanufacturing in the UK is about £2.4 billion, with the potential to increase to around £5.6 billion, says the 2019 UK Automotive Sustainability Report.
Now an annual publication by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, it adds that by making more of its remanufacturing potential, the UK has an opportunity to boost the economy, increase skills and create jobs.
Cross-sector work is progressing to implement the BS:8887 series of standards, which provide guidance for remanufacturers about design, progress through the reman cycle and onwards towards end of life disposal. It is felt that implementation will help to build greater trust and credibility.
Moreover, dialogue with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering best practice and how to promote it to the wider market to divert products from landfill or low-level reprocessing.
Although more reman jobs is a prize worth having, the report points out that these are skilled jobs and that the associated costs of training a new work force will be high. It adds that complications arise from more complex products that are integrated into vehicle management systems.
As well as highlighting the benefits (extended parts life, reduced emissions levels, less energy, less raw materials used and fewer new components required), some downsides are identified. These include environmental penalties caused by parts of poor quality that cannot be remanufactured (and must be landfilled) and price undercutting that damages the economy.
Recognizing and promoting the resource efficiency benefits of remanufactured products and encouraging their uptake through supportive policies are included among the key priorities identified for a sustainable UK automotive sector.
The 2019 UK Automotive Sustainability Report is published by the SMMT and is available online at www.smmt.co.uk/reports.