Sustainable material innovation
Sustainable material innovation
To be CO2-neutral in our products, we have to radically rethink them – starting with what they’re made of. FORVIA is taking the lead and accelerating its sustainable materials innovation.
As the first automotive company with a net zero target approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, FORVIA has taken decisive action to ensure access to critical feedstock and the ability to scale-up development of new sustainable materials. November 2022 saw the creation of MATERI’ACT, a new Group entity bringing together more than 10 years’ experience in the development of biosourced materials for lightweight products with a reduced CO2 footprint. MATERI’ACT will further develop and manufacture unique cutting-edge materials with up to 85% CO2 reduction versus current materials and no impact on water, biodiversity, circular economy and critical materials, in alignment with EU green taxonomy. This will strongly contribute to FORVIA’s planet care and CO2 neutrality goals and more broadly support automakers in their drive to create more sustainable vehicles.
MATERI’ACT specializes in biobased and recycled compounds for interiors, seats and lighting; biobased foils as alternative leathers for seats and interiors; low-CO2 carbon fibers for hydrogen tanks; and green steel for seat frames. It will operate from a dedicated R&D center with a pilot workshop set to open in 2023 in Lyon, France.
A long history in sustainable materials
Materials innovation is in our DNA. Back in 2011, Faurecia was the first automotive supplier to introduce a biocomposite range made using natural hemp fibers. Today, we equip some 14 million vehicles with NAFILean products, contributing to a reduction of more than 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions in the production phase, including CO2 capture during natural fiber growth, and an additional reduction of 72,000 tons in the car usage phase thanks to lighter weight. Our latest generation – NAFILean-R – has won several innovation awards in 2022 as a high performance and sustainable material. It’s a fully recyclable composite made from low-emission natural fibers combined with post-consumer recycled feedstock. In addition to being up to 25% lighter, its CO2 footprint is up to 87% lower than equivalent market references.
Boosting recycled content use
Moving away from virgin plastics to the use of recycled plastics is core to our strategy. In May 2022, FORVIA signed a major partnership with Veolia to develop compounds made from post-used plastics. By combining our respective expertise in recycling and vehicle interiors, we will significantly boost the use of recycled plastics. By 2025 FORVIA aims to achieve an average of 30% of recycled content in our vehicle interiors, rising to 80% by 2030. We also showcased Inicycled, our new sustainable compound made from 50% recycled content, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2023.
Non-animal leather is a great example of how FORVIA is translating its sustainability ambition into innovative materials with a significantly reduced CO2 footprint. Ecorium offers a more environmentally friendly product incorporating recycled PET material and hemp with a great premium quality and aesthetic appeal.