FORVIA wants to change the world. And as the first automotive company with a net zero target approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, the power player is on the path to fulfilling those ambitions. “Companies must have a positive impact on society. That’s why we launched our ambitious CO2 neutrality target and ESG roadmap two and a half years ago,” says Yann Brillat-Savarin, FORVIA’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer. We believe that we have to contribute actively to the sustainability of our world.”
Launched in 2022 after French company Faurecia and German company HELLA came together, FORVIA is the seventh largest automotive supplier in the world. The company has pledged to reach net zero by 2045, and with one in two vehicles equipped with FORVIA products, it stands to make a huge impact if successful.
The acquisition of HELLA is a major step forward in our ambition to become a global technology leader in the automotive field. We wanted to be better positioned when it comes to all the megatrends - including electrification and automated driving - and we want to reach critical size. We believe that the transformation we are undergoing relies on us being able to scale, to be able to invest. With this move, we’ve created the world’s seventh largest automotive supplier and a combined group that is well positioned to be a global leader in technology and sustainable mobility. We recently unveiled our mission statement, which is to “pioneer technology for mobility experiences that matter to people”. And I think the strength of our portfolio is perfectly aligned with our mission. We have announced the ambitions of our FORVIA Power25 plan, which focuses on three strategic priorities with clear targets: increased sales, enhanced profitability and cash conversion.
Companies must have a positive impact on society. That’s why we launched our ambitious CO2 neutrality target and ESG roadmap two and a half years ago. We believe that we must contribute actively to the sustainability of our world. Faurecia alone represents 1,000th of the world’s total CO2 emissions, including both indirect and direct emissions. We can clearly have a real, material impact on our planet and that’s why we set ourselves an ambitious roadmap to be net zero by 2045. We’ve grouped strategy and sustainability under the same role because we believe that sustainability is a strategic driver. We believe that we can create a competitive advantage by being pioneers in sustainability. Our customers are expecting us to provide solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of cars. And we believe that we have to be leaders from that point of view. That’s not necessarily contradictory with margins and profits – there are clear business cases around sustainability. The energy efficiency measures that we launched two years ago, for example, proved very relevant in the current context of energy inflation. And if you use recycled materials or less materials for the same product, it’s not more expensive. It’s a win-win.
Partnerships are key. We couldn’t move fast if we were not working with the right partners. When necessary, we choose the specialist in a sector that can help us to accelerate. Accenture is one of them. We are also working with Engie on energy savings solutions as well as with EDP to support our solar panel projects. Our objective is to equip 150 sites in 22 countries with solar panels by the end of 2023. It’s such an ambitious program, we couldn’t do that alone. We are also working with Schneider Electric to equip our production sites with energy saving devices and on off-site renewable electricity purchasing. We’ve invested in two startups, Gravity and Green Ion, because we want to start producing ‘green’ steel. And we have invested in a startup that is developing an alternative to natural leather, which is based on pineapple leaves. We have a lot of partnerships, and we believe that we have to build those types of ecosystems with the best players. It’s a win-win because we are all learning. As I said, we don’t have all the solutions yet. But we are learning together, and we are stronger together.
Our vision for zero emission mobility is that there will be a mix between battery electric vehicles and fuel-cell electric vehicles. There is a tipping point, at roughly 350 kilometers, where we believe that hydrogen could be a better solution for autonomy when choosing between battery electric vehicles and combustion vehicles. The speed of refueling and the weight of the vehicle are other factors, because hydrogen can be heavier compared to other batteries. In many use cases, hydrogen will be indispensable. We don’t believe that batteries will be the solution for all use cases. And as far as I know, hydrogen is the only credible alternative to batterification today. For instance, for heavy duty or light commercial vehicle pickup trucks in the US, we believe that hydrogen will be a better tradeoff than battery electric vehicles. Another dimension is sovereignty. Battery technology is increasingly dominated by companies in Asia, while hydrogen is an area where the European industry is well-equipped to excel. The answer could be to build a competitive offer worldwide in this field. FORVIA is well positioned across both battery and hydrogen. We want to be agnostic to the powertrain mix. With HELLA we are well presented in the electrification and energy management field, and with FORVIA and Symbio we are well-positioned on the hydrogen side.