The environmental impact of our products is closely monitored as a result of the stringent environmental regulatory regimes in Europe and Japan which apply to our OEM customers. Initiatives such as the Global Automotive Stakeholder Group focus attention on the environmental impacts of substances in automotive parts. We carefully monitor the material makeup and characteristics of our products so that we adhere to these requirements and thereby mitigate the environmental impact of our products. Raw material inputs and processes are adjusted to ensure that we maintain compliance as environmental legislation continues to develop.
Our OE products end up as components in vehicles that may be manufactured in, or exported to other countries and we therefore have limited ability to reclaim products or packaging from end users. End of vehicle life regulations, such as the end-of-life vehicles directive in the EU and similar legislation in Japan, US and other countries, are driving the reduction of waste arising from end-of-life vehicles.
Given the strategic nature of lead as an input for our energy storage businesses, we prioritise recycling of used batteries in all of our markets, which reduces potential environmental impacts if they are not disposed of correctly.
There were no spills or other environmental incidents at any of the group’s subsidiaries during 2015.
Environmental protection expenditure totalled R6.3 million in 2015.