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Sustainability Leadership Symposium Advances Coalition Need

National Center for Manufacturing Sciences identified as resource to facilitate cross-industry discussion.


The fourth annual Sustainability Leadership Symposium (SLS) was held on Monday, Nov. 3, with the SEMA Show providing a forum for a dialogue about essential issues facing the collision repair industry.

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The SLS enhanced the scope of discussion as well as its cross-industry list of guest panelists, which included U.S. and Canadian collision repair stakeholders, trade publications and AkzoNobel’s 2014 FIT Sustainability award recipients. New to the 2014 program was the endorsement of more than a dozen like-minded industry businesses, associations and publications supporting the need for the topic of sustainability to be addressed at an industry level.

Endorsers included:

  • Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF)
  • DCR Systems
  • NuCon Services
  • BodyShop Business
  • Collision Repair Magazine
  • Auto Body Repair News (ABRN)
  • Fender Bender Magazine
  • Autobody News
  • Parts and People Magazine
  • The Economical Insurance Group of Canada
  • GMG Envirosafe
  • LKQ Keystone
  • Park Place Dealerships
  • Mark’s Auto Body
  • Moody’s Collision Repair Centers
  • California Autobody Association
  • Selecta Auto Body
  • Women’s Industry Network
  • Givens Collision Repair Center

The symposium’s focus was two-fold: first, to reinforce the role of sustainability in collision repair as an imperative for growing and “future proofing” the industry; and second, to explore the possibility of forming a collaborative industry coalition to establish and advance key sustainability initiatives.


The roundtable discussions were moderated by Dr. Manish Mehta, director of strategic projects & sustainability at The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), and Michael Shesterkin, general manager of What’s Next? A keynote presentation was given by Dr. John Sutherland, the Fehsenfeld Family head of environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Four SLS panelists including Clark Plucinski of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, Rocco Neglia of The Economical Insurance Group of Canada, Joe Hayes of GMG Envirosafe and J.R. Hubbard of Selecta Auto Body – all AkzoNobel FIT winners – expressed their willingness to recommend potential stakeholders who might be willing to help with the formation of a collision repair sustainability coalition. Shesterkin is drafting a memorandum of understanding and will work with Dr. Mehta and the NCMS on what it will take to put together the group’s first meeting, which is expected before the end of the first quarter 2015.


“After four years of bringing industry leaders together to participate in the symposium and solidify the role of sustainability in collision repair, we are now seeing the tangible beginnings of a coalition starting to emerge and go well beyond this current format,” said AkzoNobel’s North America Communications Manager Bill Orr. “The vision has been cast, the stakeholders understand the imperative and the sustainability baton is about to be passed on to a group of cross-industry professionals who will help ensure collision repair’s future.”

For more information about the Sustainability Leadership Symposium and/or coalition formation, contact Bill Orr at [email protected].

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