• Steven Brettt
    Steven Brettt
  • Jessica Higgins AMA Group
    Jessica Higgins AMA Group

Paint & Panel held two roundtables at the W Hotel in Sydney on Friday 31 May discussing the hot topic with a rather worthy name Environmental Social Governance (ESG). 

We have millennials to thank for ESG because as shareholder in large companies they have demanded greater responsibility, better practices and accountability from large organisations. How does this affect the collision repair industry? Because those large organisations include insurers, OEMs and fleet organisations to name but a few.

We know that some legislation around ESG is here already - for instance the psychosocial element of WHS and the requirement for cybersecurity and that others are coming but when and in what exact form they will take is unclear. We discussed one of the likely requirements being bodyshops reporting on their carbon footprint from energy usage to parts airmiles. 

Why it matters now

It is essential that bodyshop owners and managers understand all of these demands for compliance - and prepare for those that are likely to come soon. The penalties for not complying could mean losing contracts in the best case scenario, losing the business and worse at the extreme other end of the scale.

IBodyshop was the platinum sponsor of the roundtable and managing director Steve O'Brien was in attendance. Silver sponsor AMA Group provided two experts from its network Adam O'Sullivan, executive general manager from ACM Parts and Jessica Higgins, general manager people at AMA Collision.

Other roundtable participants were: Clarissa Iacobucci from DSI Panels, Victoria; Tracey Richards from Geoff Richards Panelbeating in Dubbo, NSW; Brett Leslight from Regatta Motor Body Repairs, Sydney, Chris Daglis from AutoPARTnered Solutions; Gary Wilcox from MONIT; Steven Brett from Axalta; Chris Giles from Solera; Ian Linton from Toyota, Scott Maynard from BYD and Mark Williams from Lowbake.

We divided the subject in to Environmental at the breakfast roundtable and Social & Governance for the lunchtime session thinking that the 'S&G' would need more time for discussion. As it transpired we ran out of time discussing environmental issues.

Over the coming weeks we will be unpacking the topics discussed via video and a dedicated section in the next edition of the magazine. The conclusion of the roundtable experts is that data is king. For instance if the industry wanted to get paid more for disposing of parts and paint etc then it would have to present data to the insurers about the actual costs of disposal. To defend against any workplace lawsuits from injury or mental welfare issues you need data to show that you followed all of the right procedures with that employee. In order to futureproof your business you will need to know all about ESG and start implementing new practices or refine current practices to ensure compliance.

We'll kick off with one element of the environmental discussion next week. 

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