How sustainability is central to Delphi Technologies’ mission in the Aftermarket
Here at Delphi Technologies, a brand of BorgWarner, we embarked on our sustainability journey a number of years ago. Thanks to that early start we are well underway to expanding our efforts into all areas of the business today. Our framework of environmental, social, and governance performance (ESG) means our efforts are demonstrably long term and impactful, incorporating our resources, our people, our beliefs and our products. Alex Ashmore, Vice President of BorgWarner Inc. and President GM Aftermarket, tells us more about what this means in action.
Alex, thanks for speaking about sustainability. It can be quite an umbrella term, what does sustainability mean for you?
Alex Ashmore: I feel sustainability has two key elements. On one hand, it’s about recognizing where you can make meaningful changes to what and how much is used and consumed, and on the other hand what we can do to extend the service life of resources already around us. It’s important to not forget that second part; it can be so easy to get excited about engineering new things which are sustainable, but we shouldn’t overlook our responsibility to manage what already exists.
That’s a great description. Why is it important for Delphi Technologies to be sustainable like that?
Alex Ashmore: We need to be sustainable by creating a clean, energy-efficient future for our people, customers, communities, and planet. By creating a sustainable value chain with our business we support customers and suppliers who in turn need to meet sustainability governance of their own and look to partner with companies who are sustainable. When you’re a company as large as we are you have a responsibility to lead by example, and now we are part of the BorgWarner family our sustainability strategy has been strengthened. The two companies were incredibly well matched in the drive to serve the automotive industry and I’m pleased to say we are well aligned in our focus on sustainability.
So Delphi Technologies started making sustainability changes a number of years ago, how did it start?
Alex Ashmore: We began recycling back 13 years ago and we are still going strong. We provide parts and services for vehicles which have a lifespan of up to 25 years. One of the things we’re currently working on is our logistic footprint by maximizing shipping container space and helping lower workshop deliveries per day which can be quite high in the automotive industry. Looking ahead, we’re a leader in electrified powertrains and remanufacturing our products for electric vehicles will be an important part of our business in future. So for us sustainability really is about serving the past, present, and future of the aftermarket.
You mention electrification, what is Delphi Technologies doing for vehicle electrification?
Alex Ashmore: We are supporting our OEM customers with leading hybrid and electrification solutions. They are focused on committing to efficiency, emissions, and electrification regulations and we’re helping them meet those requirements. We are providing our aftermarket customers with world leading parts portfolios, including electrification. We just announced a global power electronics program for electrified vehicles providing aftermarket customers access to original equipment (OE) quality replacement parts. It’s a full service solution that provides charging equipment, in-depth expert-led training, advanced technical support, and traditional replacement parts to further help aftermarket customers service and repair the rapidly evolving electrified fleet.
Delphi Technologies provides so many more components than just electrification, how are those contributing to your sustainability?
Alex Ashmore: For combustion and hybrid vehicles, we have developed a 500+ bar gasoline direction injection (GDi) system; our highest pressure GDi system yet, enabling significant reductions in particulate emissions from petrol engines. Our range of remanufactured parts is a cornerstone of our sustainability plans. They help divert parts from landfill and provide the aftermarket with high quality, approved and reliable remanufactured parts that perform to the same specification they did when they were originally manufactured. BorgWarner also offer extensive remanufacturing programs, with their turbocharger program alone saving more than 16,000 tons of cast iron over the last 30 years.
That’s an excellent way to recycle material, how does recycling feature in your plans?
Alex Ashmore: There are 1.4 billion light duty vehicles in service across the globe today, so the more we can recycle the better. Since 2008, Delphi Technologies has collected more than 9000 tons of core, which we’ve used in remanufactured pumps and injectors for Diesel fuel injection systems. We are making genuinely sustainable changes to our packaging, from removing plastics which aren’t recyclable to using materials that can be recycled and are recycled or made of recycled blends.
How do you know where to put your efforts for best results and what solutions to develop?
Alex Ashmore: Research and analysis is so important for something as vital as sustainability. Our workshop network provides feedback on the latest parts demands. Our diagnostics tools help us understand driver behaviors such as typical distances, speeds, and environments so we can create technologies that improve emissions for modern driving profiles. Data is critical to the ‘better’ component of our mission to help vehicles drive cleaner, better, further.
Lastly, tell me a little more about the mission you mention, what does ‘cleaner, better, further’ mean?
Alex Ashmore: It’s a mission which really helps frame sustainability as realistic actions plans. As you said sustainability can be quite a conceptual term, so breaking it down to focus areas means we can achieve measurable change. ‘Cleaner’ is where we focus on emissions, energy usage, and recycling. ‘Better’ is where we make sure we’re doing the most effective things we can to systematically improve our supply chain, through our supplier sustainability framework. ‘Further’ is how we keep vehicles maintained to deliver the same, or better, as the originally designed emissions and safety standards. The great thing about these three aspects is that they have application in everything we do; combining the best of both worlds to apply our OE expertise to the needs of the aftermarket.
We want to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to a more sustainable future. We want to help shape the aftermarket’s role in sustainability at a global level to efficiently sustain combustion, hybrid, and electric vehicles of today and tomorrow.