Today marks 50 Years of the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people of all nations and planet Earth. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — celebrated “Earth Day” for the first time ever. American citizens took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.
The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event. Since that historic day 50 years ago, 1 billion individuals and 75K partners have joined to create a lasting positive impact for the planet. The movement has spread far beyond America and is now celebrated in over 190 countries around the world. Earth Day was founded on the belief that our world needs transformational change and that it’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to city and national government.
Vehicle Reman takes pride in knowing their craft of remanufacturing vehicles plays a role in bettering the planet for generations to come. Remanufacturing is the art of taking old, broken, or worn parts and restoring them to pristine, state-of-the-art condition. It is distinct from simply repairing those parts, as it renders them every bit as strong and useful as parts that have been newly manufactured. This concept is becoming more environmentally friendly as it substantially prolongs the need to dispose of vehicles. Presented at the 2016 SAE World Congress in Detroit, the Carnegie-Mellon EIOLCA tool showed that remanufacturing vehicles saves 50% of the cost of producing the vehicles while manufacturing new vehicles had 500% (5 times) the environmental impact of remanufacturing.
Remanufacturing has a host of benefits, including using fewer raw materials, saving energy, and reducing waste. Because the metals and other essential materials have already been mined, remanufacturing eliminates the need for more mining, a process that is highly disruptive to the environment. It takes far less energy to restore an existing part than to process newly mined materials and manufacture an entirely new part. As a result, remanufacturing produces fewer emissions of greenhouse gases, air pollutants, and a host of other byproducts of fossil fuel energy.
Remanufacturing also ensures that old and broken car parts do not end up in landfills. Given that landfills take up considerable acreage, this further reduces the land use resulting from car production. It also reduces various forms of ground and water pollution that can occur when metals, plastics, and other materials sit in a landfill for long periods of time.
Through these and other benefits, Vehicle Reman uses remanufacturing to reduce the ecological footprint of our parts dramatically. Our manufacturing process uses only 16% as much land and 25% as much energy as traditional car production. Likewise, we produce only 20% of the greenhouse gas emissions and 14% of the toxic air pollution that typically results from car production.
Finally, our process requires less freight transportation, meaning there is less need for ships to transport cars to markets and disposal sites in different countries.
The environmental benefits of our remanufacturing methods are especially impressive upon review of measurable results. As of April 2020, our process has saved a total of 15,943 megawatt hours of energy and 57 billion gallons of water and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4,292 tons. In this way, we have had a profound, positive effect on the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states are focused on what comes out the tailpipe – but the build phase (mining, refining, energy to run the plants, manufacturing people driving their car to the factories, oil stocks to make plastic, so on and so on) takes a toll on the environment too. Policy has not yet considered the build phase; all the work to date and bureaucratic focus is on emissions (tailpipe). Amazing advances in engineering have lowered engine emissions to the extent that we are at the point of diminishing return; that is, it does not make sense to improve the design without new technology. But we should also be paying attention to build phase, and what remanufacturing can do to help the environment.
Remanufacturing is not a “new” idea-UPS has been remanufacturing their ‘package cars’ for decades; the Army and Marines have reman’d their vehicles for decades too. Caterpillar is leading the way as the largest industrial, automotive remanufacturer. Vehicle Reman is right behind them and catching up as fast as we can. With that many qualified adapters, it is time for reman to go mainstream!