An electric car drives alongside wind turbines and solar panels, embodying sustainability and renewable energy in motion.

Find out how sustainability can drive innovation in the automotive sector, and support your company in contributing to the global efforts in fighting climate change.

Driving into a green future

The future of mobility is sustainable. With alternative fuels, e-mobility, mobility-as-a-service, and an environmentally impactful supply chain, automotive companies have various possibilities to position themselves as market when it comes to sustainability.

This also means that there are multiple areas that need to be targeted to facilitate a successful transformation of a sustainability- focused business. Choosing the right approach to tackling this transformative process is paramount for succeeding in not only achieving regulatory compliance, but also in positioning your brand as a driver of innovation with regards to sustainability.

Sustainability challenges for automotive brands



Focusing on sustainability in the automotive sector is not only a necessity due to legislation – it is a pure market imperative. Manufacturers are operating on multiple different challenges at the same time:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions & waste generation of products as well as within production processes
  • Adjusting design & engineering processes to EV production requirements
  • Implementing design-for-life standards & monitoring execution
  • Managing integrity and transparency within one of the most complex supply chains in manufacturing
  • Managing globalization and addressing mobility demand for the clients of tomorrow

Mastering these interconnected challenges is as necessary as it is complex – and it requires the willingness to transform the company in an encompassing way.

“Sustainability has become an important building block for future success in the automotive sector.”

Fostering Innovation

Innovation is the essential strategy when it comes to sustainability. Its necessity is greatly amplified once the goal is not only to comply, but to become a leading innovator. Four of the major fields of innovation currently are:

  • Electronic vehicles: Manufacturers are investing heavily into drive technologies and batteries to extend range and efficiency. New models are constantly presented to meet increasing client demand for EVs and to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Circular design: Designing for recyclability and disassembly are important standards for future automobiles based upon circular economy principles. Also new materials are tested and applied, and new collaborations are made accordingly.
  • Supply chain optimization: Selecting the best suppliers is an essential capability of automotive manufacturer. New raw material sourcing requirements as well as recycling and end-of-life management will result in supply chains optimized for sustainability.
  • Enabling infrastructure: New partnerships with charging network providers are formed but that alone may not be enough. Manufacturers themselves need to focus and invest in building out the charging infrastructure to enable growth of their EV business.

Transforming an automotive brand towards a sustainability powerhouse starts with determining which of these four stages best describes its current modus operandi – but that is only the beginning.

Gear up to lead the race

Putting sustainability front and center of your brands identity and businesses is a challenging process consisting of many moving parts. Successfully mastering it, means:

  • Implementing sustainability into the corporate strategy and vision tailored to your company’s goals and market positioning.
  • Investing and building the data & AI foundations for new sustainability use cases and technological innovations based on real experiences and insights.
  • Defining and executing an innovation roadmap constantly bringing new sustainability-focused innovations into products, internal processes, and the supply chain.
  • Developing integrated business use cases for select sustainability initiatives.

Co-creating sustainability strategies, approaches and designing and implementing sustainability-focused solutions together with seasoned experts is a proven way to outpace the competition on the way to becoming a sustainability leader in the industry.


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Contact our experts to empower sustainability innovations in your company and become a true sustainability leader.

Philipp Schalla
Practice Lead Sustainability Transformation, IBM Munich
Jannick Eisenhardt
Senior Managing Consultant Sustainability Transformation, IBM Munich


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