The Group is strongly committed to the recycling and recovery of materials when a vehicle reaches the end of its life cycle, and has played a key role in this field for many years.
In keeping with the Group's Environmental Guidelines, we implement preventive measures from the start of product design, to promote vehicle disposal with minimal impact on the environment. We also foster development of the recycled materials market in order to close the loop and get these resources back into use.
In our organization, ELV & CAR RECYCLING is responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant regulations in Italy, Europe and other non-European markets that have specific regulations or emerging proposals for end-of-life vehicles. Its job is to ensure full compliance with laws inherent to end-of-life vehicles and fulfillment of the relevant obligations of vehicle manufacturers and/or vehicle importers.
In Italy, the Group has been active in this field since 1992, the year the F.A.RE. (Fiat Auto REcycling) project was launched. It gained momentum with the European Directive 2000/53/EC and the signing of the ELV Framework Program Agreement between Italian Ministries for the Environment and for Economic Development and the leaders in Italian industry in 2008.
Our commitment thus played an essential role, especially in Italy, which met the goal set by the European Union due in large part to our efforts.
According to Eurostat, the Directorate-General of the European Commission responsible for the publication and communication of end-of-life vehicles (ELV) recycling and recovery data for each Member State, by 2011 Italy had reached 84.8% in reuse and recycling and 85.3% in reuse and recovery.(1) The Group recognizes that it must strengthen its commitment and increase the number of activities and programs specifically aimed at reaching the goal of 85% recycling and 95% recovery for 2015, as set by the directive. Therefore we are now revising the Framework Program Agreement with the relevant ministries and ELV supply chain associations in order to establish technological and organizational initiatives that will lead Italy to reach the ambitious targets for 2015.
Europe and other non-European markets
To maximize the recoverability of its end-of-life vehicles, the Group has developed a network of approved agents in Italy. These agents are trained in dismantling reusable components and properly separating the materials – particularly rubber, plastic and glass – so they can be recycled.
During 2013, the Group enlarged its ELV network in Italy even more, for a total of 310 dismantling sites. It also improved the performance of the national network by finding operators who could prove their certification in the areas of quality and the environment. Currently, over 50% of operators in the network have a quality, environment, ethics or safety certificate. Free take-back for Group customers is 100% guaranteed for Fiat and Chrysler vehicles that reach the end of their life in the Italian market, as well as in the other 27 European countries where this is required.
The Group also continued to improve www.carecycling.fiat.com
This website was developed to provide updated information to customers, dealers and dismantling companies about regulations, recycling activities and new research projects to use materials from demolished vehicles. All sections are available in English and Italian, and an international area was added to give updates on amendments to specific end-of-life recycling regulations in the Group’s four operating regions. Today, end-of-life vehicle issues, are monitored not just in Italy and the European markets where European Directive 2000/53 has been adopted, but also in an additional 32 countries in other regions (13 in EMEA, three in NAFTA, five in LATAM and 11 in APAC). In total, these issues are monitored in 60 countries that represent about 95% of Group products sold worldwide.
An international team led by the EMEA region was also formed, involving the Group’s four operating regions, to monitor changes in legislation on ELVs in non-European countries, particularly in emerging markets.
In 2013, the Group continued to strengthen its dismantling agent network in Europe's key markets, particularly in Germany, where the network grew by over 10%, for a total of 90 collection centers. At the same time, new services related to end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) management were developed. For example, in Germany an online search tool was launched, which helps the customer quickly find the nearest dismantling center. On the whole, 15% of the Fiat and Chrysler ELV network in Europe is made up of single contracts with individual dismantlers; 35% of contracts are with qualified companies offering comprehensive management of ELVs; and 50% is comprised of the Collective Systems created to fulfill the obligations under laws on end-of-life vehicle management.
In the United States, there are approximately 9,000 auto dismantlers in operation. Every year end-of-life vehicles produce more than 16 million tons of steel among other materials that can be reused and recycled (source: www.autoalliance.org). Chrysler Group is also committed to the recycling and recovery of end-of-life vehicles and partnered with other automakers to establish the End-of-Life Vehicle Solutions Corporation (ELVS) in the United States. Collectively this industry collaboration continues to promote the industry’s environmental efforts in recyclability, education and outreach on issues such as disposal of elemental mercury from automotive switches and end-of-life high voltage batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles.
Lastly, Fiat Group is active in updating the International Dismantling Information System (IDIS), a comprehensive, advanced information system for pretreatment and disposal of vehicles to be scrapped. Developed by the automotive industry, this database is meant to optimize demolition procedures for 1,854 models and versions of 71 vehicle brands, and is available in 39 countries and in 30 different languages. Any company that manages end-of-life vehicles can log on and use it free of charge.
Extensive research has been conducted on energy recovery from fluff, the material left over after a vehicle has been shredded and is no longer recyclable, as well as on selected other end-of-life vehicle parts, such as tires. The Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) led a project known as Target Fluff on behalf of Fiat Group’s End-of-Life Vehicle division. Target Fluff also involved three industrial groups in the shredder business, and was subsequently presented as part of the Italian Industria 2015 innovation program. This research and development project was partially funded by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development. It increased knowledge of recycling and energy recovery technology, and helped the companies involved to invest in technology that optimizes the separation of metal from fluff and prepares this material for subsequent transformation into energy. This project also enabled the construction of a second pilot plant related to fluff treatment.
Fiat Group is also committed to promoting end-of-life vehicle materials recycling through innovative technology and researching new potential emerging markets. For instance, in 2013 the PFU (End-Of-Life Tires) collection system sent 100% of the tires collected from all dismantlers in Italy – representing more than 20,000 tons – to be recycled. This service is entirely free of charge to the dismantler, while the costs incurred for collection, management and recycling are covered by the PFU (End-Of-Life Tires) Committee managed by the Automobile Club of Italy.
With the support of this committee, the Group is working to develop potential markets for the recycled rubber from end-of-life tires and encourage competition among collection and management service firms in order to promote a reduction in the new vehicle ecotax for buyers.
In addition, Fiat Group Automobiles and Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) also participate in the project TyRec4Life, funded under the European Union's LIFE+ project. This project aims to develop innovative technologies to incentivize the use of rubber from end-of-life tires in street pavement and thus improve the characteristics and performance of asphalt in terms of safety, comfort, resistance, environmental impact and noise.
To evaluate safety and sustainability of the product and process, as well as ensure security and eco-sustainability, Life Cycle Risk Assessment (LCRA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies have been conducted. In 2013, Centro Ricerche Fiat conducted an analysis of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to compare recycling of rubber from end-of-life tires (PFU) with energy recovery from cement works where the end-of-life tires are used as a replacement for solid fossil fuels, thanks to the favorable heat of combustion/emission ratio. This analysis showed that the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of recycling 1,000 kg of PFU is negative (- 6 kg of CO2eq) compared with the 70 kg of CO2eq outcome obtained from PFU energy recovery in cement works. This means that the environmental credit for using recycled materials instead of raw materials exceeded the environmental debts caused by shredding, separation and cleaning of the materials comprising the PFUs.
Finally, the Group measures CO2 emissions and the associated energy consumption resulting from end-of-life vehicle treatment. In 2013, CO2 emissions amounted to approximately 209 kg of CO2eq per vehicle, while energy consumption was 1,600 MJ (PED - Primary Energy Demand per vehicle(2)).
(1) Please note that data is published with a two-year delay on EUROSTAT website. Similarly, 2012 data will be available in 2014.
(2) In order to calculate the GWP of the end of life of an average Fiat Group vehicle, Life Cycle Assessment analysis is conducted according to ISO 14040-14044 and performed with Gabi 6 software and the CML 2001 method (updated as of April 2013). Outcomes take into account the environmental debts due to the following ELV management activities: depollution (oil, fluids), dismantling for component reuse and material recycling, shredding activities, and landfilling of the Automotive Shredder Residue. The environmental credits due to the reuse, recycling and recovery of the materials sorted are out of the scope of the LCA.