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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Luxury Carmakers Accelerate Sustainability Ambitions

Two of the UK’s most iconic names in luxury cars — Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover — are building on their efforts to ensure they’re soon known as much for being sustainable as they are sleek and stylish.

Jaguar Land Rover launches open innovation strategy

The Jaguar F-Type | Image credit: Jaguar USA/Facebook

Today, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) launches a new “Open Innovation” strategy to accelerate next-generation technology and sustainability to support its Modern Luxury vision for the business, its partners and customers.

Open Innovation will drive collaborations with startups, scale-ups and like-minded external organizations on electrification, connectivity, digital services, metaverse, intelligent enterprise, manufacturing, supply chain and sustainability.

As part of the global strategy, JLR will open a first-of-its kind innovation hub in its native UK in partnership with corporate innovation platform and investor Plug and Play, of which JLR is a founding partner. In addition, two separate partnerships with Brazilian companies Cubo Itau and Firjan will provide access to the creative thinkers of the vibrant Latin American startup ecosystem.

Open Innovation aims to propel JLR’s Reimagine vision: to create the world’s most desirable luxury vehicles for the most discerning of customers. By collaborating with innovators and sector experts, the Open Innovation program will help the business identify digital services, products, tools and processes for it to achieve its goal of net zero by 2039, while creating new value chains for the business.

“With the launch of the Open Innovation platform, Jaguar Land Rover is looking at the entire mobility and sustainability ecosystem to offer an unparalleled customer experience — shaping the future of our industry and paving the way to the future,” says François Dossa, Executive Director of Strategy and Sustainability at JLR. “We will explore everything from second-life batteries and circular economy to new fintech, insurtech and digital services — all aligned with Jaguar Land Rover as the proud creators of Modern Luxury.”

To foster Open Innovation internally, Jaguar Land Rover has appointed 70+ ‘champions’ from across key business areas — including sustainability, engineering, design, research, and manufacturing — that will be at the forefront of driving the strategy.

Externally, JLR plans to leverage innovators from the UK and Latin America to further its efforts. Through its partnership in Plug and Play UK, JLR is building an ecosystem of startups and scale-ups that will create jobs and opportunities for the digital economy. The platform will also provide access to a global ecosystem of potential partners, enabling the organization to test new technologies and business models.

São Paulo-based Cubo Itau hosts hundreds of startups covering industries including fintech, agribusiness, healthcare and retail. Jaguar Land Rover will play a key role in Cubo’s newly created Smart Mobility Hub, which will spearhead innovations for the automotive sector. Rio-based Firjan is a private entity that represents industrial and business sectors in the state. With a 10,000-strong network of enterprise members, Firjan will work closely with JLR to connect startups developing advanced auto-manufacturing processes with access to advanced laboratories for R&D programs.

Aston Martin launches Racing.Green. strategy

The Aston Martin Valhalla will be the company's first plug-in hybrid sports car | Image credit: Aston Martin/Car and Driver

Meanwhile, James Bond’s favorite car company, Aston Martin, is accelerating its ambition to become a world-leading, sustainable, ultra-luxury automotive business with the launch of its new Racing.Green. strategy.

Racing.Green. formalizes core principles, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, that reflect Aston Martin’s established approach to sustainability and sets new targets across all aspects of the business — with a focus on tackling climate change and creating a better environment through optimized use of resources.

Aston Martin has joined the growing list of companies committing to act on climate change through membership of the Science Based Targets initiative. Within the commitments announced in Racing.Green. the company is targeting net-zero emissions from its manufacturing facilities by 2030, with a 30 percent reduction in supply chain emissions from a 2020 baseline; and, like JLR, has outlined an ambition to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2039.

The new targets build on Aston Martin’s sustainability progress to date, with a 44 percent reduction in emissions intensity in its UK operations between 2020 and 2021 and 100 percent renewable energy used across all its UK manufacturing facilities since 2019. A major project will see Aston Martin install more than 14,000 solar panels at its St Athan site in Wales, capable of delivering 20 percent of the plant’s annual energy demands.

100 percent of waste at Aston Martin is already successfully diverted from landfill — its new target is to eliminate all plastic packaging waste across the business within three years.

The Racing.Green. strategy also targets a 15 percent reduction in water consumption, as well as maximization of sustainable materials and enhancement of biodiversity across all sites.

Along with a continued commitment to product longevity — the company has manufactured fewer than 109,000 cars in its 109-year history, with 95 percent of these estimated to be still on their journey — Aston Martin’s future product strategy includes a clear roadmap to electrification: While continuing to develop alternatives to the internal combustion engine, its first plug-in hybrid sports car — the mid-engine Valhalla — will commence deliveries in early 2024. Aston Martin’s first battery electric vehicle is targeted for launch in 2025; and by 2026, all new Aston Martin product lines will have an electrified powertrain option. Aston Martin plans for its entire core portfolio of GT sports cars and SUVs to be fully electrified by 2030.

“We are transforming our business and believe that now is the time to challenge ourselves to make a bigger difference, to become a world-leading sustainable ultra-luxury business,” said Aston Martin Lagonda CEO Tobias Moers. “Whilst embracing electrification, we believe our sustainability ambitions must be broader than just producing emissions-free vehicles and want to drive sustainability principles across our entire business — proudly producing responsible products with a reduced environmental impact and making a positive contribution to the communities where we operate.

“Applying our passion for engineering and design innovation to this challenge, we are excited about shaping not just how quickly the world gets from zero to sixty, but how quickly we get to net zero.”