|The latest meeting of the International Roundtable on Auto Recycling brought together delegates from more than 50 countries.
Toronto, Ontario — October 22, 2014 — Examining different process, methods, and goals can provide insight into how you run your own business. For Lorne Denneus, this was part of his motivation for attending the most recent meeting of the International Roundtable on Auto Recycling (IRT) in Kushiro, Japan. The IRT brings together leading international automotive recycler associations, industry officials, guest speakers, and local auto recyclers to discuss the global auto recycling industry.
Denneus is the co-owner of Highway 4 Auto Salvage with his father, Roel Willekes. The business is located in Coombs, British Columbia.
â€œFor me, the biggest highlight was the yard tour. I got to directly experience how they do things, as opposed to how we do it here,â€ says Denneus. â€œThatâ€™s a lot of why I went. To pick up some new ideas and see if we could apply them here.â€
This yearâ€™s IRT was hosted by the Japan Auto Recyclers Association (JARA). Well over 200 stakeholders attended, not counting IRT staff and volunteers. While Japanâ€™s auto recycling industry obviously made a strong showing, international participation was also high, with 55 delegates travelling from outside the country to attend.
â€œHere, we tend to focus on parts sales and re-utilization,â€ says Denneus. â€œThey focus more on scrapping the car, with lots of different bins for different materials. Iâ€™m not sure if the way they do things would be financially viable here, but itâ€™s certainly a learning experience.â€
In addition to Denneus, Canadaâ€™s contingent consisted of Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of the Auto Recyclers of Canada (ARC), and Ed MacDonald, President of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA).
There were a few highlights from the IRT of special interest to North Americans. First, Jeff Schroder of Car-Part.com announced a partnership in which Japan Auto Recycler Alliance, a super network of auto recyclers throughout Japan, will feed parts information to Car-Part.com to create a marketplace with parts from the US, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. The parties will cooperate together on eCommerce initiatives.
In addition, ARC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Malaysia Automotive Recyclers Association (MAARA), in which MAARA and ARC agree to collaborate in a number of matters related to Malaysiaâ€™s auto recycling industry, including big data analysis, best practices, establishing industry standards, green technology, R&D, and business modeling.
Among the other highlights from the meeting, delegates were presented with a global overview of current developments in relation to automotive recycling through individual country presentations that addressed key issues facing the industry including environmental standards and best practice, public awareness, government policies, manufacturer policies, industry stewardship, education and training, and research and information sharing.
â€œThere was definitely a focus on the proper disposal of ELVs and environmental protection, which in North America, I think weâ€™re pretty good at it,â€says Denneus. â€œItâ€™s an important issue for the global industry, as there are lots of countries that have no regulations at all.â€
The IRT noted the significant progress being made in â€œregulatedâ€ jurisdictions towards the achievement of a target of 95 percent recyclability for End-of-Life motor vehicles (ELVs), and also acknowledged the positive outcomes being achieved in a number of less regulated jurisdictions where increased awareness of the environmental risks posed by ELVs is being achieved at community, government, and manufacturer levels.
For more on the IRT, watch for the next issue of Canadian Auto Recyclers magazine!