many research projects involving public and private entities. The Group co-chairs the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC), the European Commission’s technology platform for research on road transportation. And Valeo is involved in a number of competitiveness clusters such as Mov’eo and VeDeCom, an energy transition institute whose Board of Administrators is chaired by Valeo. RESOURCES, MATERIALS AND ECO-DESIGN From the early phases of new product design, Valeo privileges an approach based on eco-design and conservation of natural resources. In this context, Valeo has rolled out an action plan across all levels designed to reduce its products’ carbon footprint, limit the consumption of raw materials and chemical products and increase the use of recyclable and recycled materials. This strategy is in line with its goal of reducing vehicles’ CO2 emissions using a range of tools that notably take into account customer requirements and regulatory obligations governing the fight against hazardous substances. Eco-design is based on internal directives and guidelines that enable engineers to assess the major environmental impacts of products throughout their life cycles, particularly during use, which accounts for 90% of the total impact. These measures enable Valeo to respond effectively to the European ELV Directive (End-of-Life Vehicles), which since January 1, 2015 has required automakers to achieve a minimum rate of reuse and recycling of 85% by weight of the ELV. TALENT FUELING INNOVATION Without the best people to design and develop them, technological innovations may very well never exist. For this reason, Valeo increased Research and Development staff numbers worldwide by 12% in 2015, bringing the total to 11,620 compared with 10,400 in 2014. In addition to its exclusive network of experts, the Group again stepped up its training program for its technicians and engineers in 2015 (adding 6.4% more training hours), particularly in highgrowth markets. Valeo prefers to hire Research and Development teams from the local employment area because it believes that they can use their first-hand knowledge of local society, lifestyles and consumption patterns to analyze the needs of local customers and consumers. As the Group’s capacity to adapt to local markets is essential for its expansion, Valeo focuses its Research and Development activity on competitively priced design solutions in emerging countries. It also promotes standardized practices such as those implemented at the VIPL (Valeo India Partnership Limited) Technical Services Center in India, which aims to develop projects designed for these markets’ expectations.
For Valeo, eliminating hazardous substances from its products is a key challenge. In line with REACH(1) regulations, the Group set up an organization comprising representatives from each Business Group and correspondents at all sites. The Research and Development, Purchasing and Customer Quality Departments are responsible for having a full understanding of Valeo’s products and communicating with external parties (suppliers, customers and competent authorities).
(1) REACH: European regulation establishing a single system for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals.
ELIMINATING HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
VALEO / 2015 ACTIVITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORT
To give impetus to its innovation strategy, Valeo has set up a network of experts that currently includes 834 members, representing one expert for every 14 engineers. These experts have a three-year research tenure and are mainly tasked with defining best practices that will be incorporated into design standards and explained to newcomers. They are a driving force within the R&D team, and share their expertise throughout the R&D network.
VALEO EXPERTS: A NETWORK TO DRIVE INNOVATION