In 1997 SAE’s Board of Directors initiated a project to define SAE’s role in the environment. To help SAE better define its strategic direction, focus groups were conducted to gather:

  • Input and suggestions for SAE’s strategic direction in the environment.
  • Key needs in this area.
  • Actions or activities SAE could take to assure its relevance to mobility engineers

Recycling Focus Group

    A recycling focus group was conducted at Congress ‘98 to assist SAE in further defining its role and identifying related products and services for the mobility industry.

The focus group addressed the following topics:

  • Feeling of the participants about recycling.
  • The role of standards.
  • SAE’s role and the customers’ needs.

    The session was attended by representatives from Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Automotive Recyclers Association, BASF, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Echlin, University of Toledo, and other individuals representing consulting and environmental engineering firms.

The following key issues/opportunities were identified:

  • Public perception—Educating the public about advances in recycling.
  • There is also an opportunity to teach educators and students by developing an environmental component of SAE’s A World In Motion program.
  • Develop a common definition of “environmentally friendly” or “green” vehicles.
  • There is a need for an Environmental Data Sheet similar to the Material Data Safety Sheet.
  • There is a need for a repository of standards on environmental activities.
  • There is an opportunity to increase membership on standards committees by including durable goods suppliers.
  • The industry needs more of a voice in ISO on environmental issues..
  • There is a need to test proposed recycling standards as cooperative research projects before adoption.

Environmental Focus Group

    An environmental focus group was conducted at World Aviation Congress ‘98 and was attended by representatives from Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, AlliedSignal, and Lockheed Martin.

The following key issues/opportunities were identified:

  • Solvent replacement/reduction—government-dictated reduction of VOCs.
  • Environmentally friendly cleaning agents.
  • HVOF as a replacement for chrome.
  • Replacing MEK with MPK.
  • Cadmium issues are being addressed unilaterally by companies and, in some cases, unilaterally by division within companies; there is no standardization across companies and jurisdictions.
  • Information clearinghouse—Consumer Reports on environmental issues:
    • More involvement with government agencies is needed to provide more information regarding pending legislation and regulations.
    • More articles for Navigator.
    • Cooperative testing program.
    • Symposia, forums and focus groups for addressing technical issues.
    • Facilitated communications and video teleconferencing for more effective use of time and resources.
  • Selling the initiative—top-down and bottom-up selling at all levels of the companies is essential to eliminating the gap that exists between commitment to environmental initiatives and budget responsibility.