Capgemini Research Institute

The automotive industry in the era of sustainability

Sustainability has become a strategic priority for automotive organizations

With growing concerns about climate change and environmental degradation, sustainability has become a strategic priority for automotive organizations. Governments, consumers, and investors are now pushing automotive organizations to change their ways of working, culture, and products. This will have far-reaching implications for the industry, which despite having made substantial progress, still has to step up its sustainability efforts.

So, where does the industry stand today in terms of its sustainability initiatives and what does the future hold?

A strategic priority yet a fragmented execution

Hence the latest, comprehensive research from the Capgemini Research InstituteThe automotive industry in the era of sustainability. We surveyed 500 large automotive organizations as well as 300 experts, including regulators, academics and non-governmental organizations working in the field of sustainability. We found that:

  • Sustainability has become a strategic priority for the industry – 62% of automotive organizations claim to have a comprehensive sustainability strategy with well-defined goals and targets.
  • But implementation seems fragmented and an additional $50 billion investment is needed to meet sustainability commitments.
  • 74% of OEMs have an electric vehicle plan. However, only 56% of them have made EVs a part of their sustainability strategy. We analyze how this could be counterproductive.
  • Supporting and promoting circular economy – the most implemented sustainability initiative – is deployed by 52% of the organizations. Yet, more needs to be done to reap its full potential.
  • Only 9% of the automotive organizations we surveyed have a mature sustainability program, while 26% have are lagging behind considerably.

Based on input from sustainability leaders, we believe automotive firms should:

  • Demonstrate tangible progress on sustainability
  • Pursue sustainability as an organization-wide mission
  • Make business executives accountable for sustainability and invest in robust governance
  • Envision and spread sustainability initiatives across the automotive value chain
  • Use technology to improve sustainability of operations
  • Strengthen alliances and partnerships for greater impact.

For more information on sustainability in automotive, download the report.

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Sound Bites

Ashish Srivastava, Head of Sustainability at Marelli India

Our three plants are meeting more than 50% of their electricity consumption demand from solar power. And to offset what we are consuming from the grid, we have undertaken extensive tree plantation in and around our plants as well as at CSR (corporate social responsibility) project sites across India.

Kaisa Tarna-Mani, Global Head of Sustainability at Autoliv

There is a need to have oversight. This is about knowing that we are doing the right things and that we are putting the focus on the correct issues. Having this central approach also allows us to integrate all of these key initiatives into our business strategy.

Lidia Wojtal, Climate-Energy Expert and Consultant

The automotive industry has to invest in the disposal and reuse of electric cars and batteries along with electromobility at the same time. It is already obvious that these batteries will exhaust one day and they will need to be handled in a sustainable manner.

Key Takeaways


Of sustainability experts state that the automotive industry has made more progress than other industries


Of sustainability experts state that they are in-line or better than what is required by regulation on sustainability


In France, 86% of end-of-life components by weight is saved and recycled owing to the circular economy

About the Capgemini Research Institute

Capgemini Research Institute

Capgemini’s #1 ranked in-house think tank on all things digital


Markus Winkler

Executive Vice President – Global Automotive. I am passionate about helping Automotive companies in their transformation towards end-to-end sustainable mobility .

Jerome Buvat

Expert in Digital Transformation & Strategy, Strategy & Transformation

Amol Khadikar

Expert in Digital Transformation, Innovation, Strategy

Sebastian Tschödrich

Expert in Automotive Digital