EV Highlights from Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero

We look back on Net Zero LIVE, which united executives from General Motors, Kearney, Polestar, Rivian & Marelli to discuss the future of EVs

Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero took place on 6 and 7 March and was hosted by our sister title Sustainability Magazine. The show had a core focus on net zero and connected the world’s sustainability leaders — including many from across the EV sector. Speakers from General Motors, Polestar, Kearney, Rivian and Marelli among others shared their expertise and insights at panels, keynote speeches, workshops and firesides.

Here, we reflect on the success of the two-day spectacular at the QEII Centre in London.

Highlights for the electric vehicle sector from Sustainability LIVE: Net Zero

At the forum ‘The Future of Electric Cars in a Net Zero World’, the panel included:

Kristen Siemen spent a lot of her career in product development. During the panel, she called for more collaboration between competitors, suggesting that this leads to the consumer having greater choice and more options.

“At GM, we have ingrained sustainability into every aspect of our business,” says Kristen. “Our engineers work with designers in choosing materials that are more sustainable. They think about the lifecycle of the vehicle. GM has been around for well over 100 years and innovation is still at the core of everything we do.”

“It’s amazing to see designers and engineers take on sustainability challenges,” agreed Fredrika Klarén. 

Based in Gothenburg, she studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, followed by the High Potential Programme at IHM Business School. At Polestar, she is committed to true climate information sharing.

“We are looking at optimising the mileage, the lifespan, of the car,” she says. “Optimising circularity from a KPI perspective gets really fluffy otherwise.

At Kearney, Angela Hultberg is responsible for supporting clients as they transition to truly sustainable business practices. During the panel, she called for policy makers to reduce their grip on EV adoption and to look for solutions to supply chain emissions.

“Even if we electrified all cars on the market today, that still wouldn’t keep the automotive sector on the right path to 1.5,” says Angela.. “The automotive sector also needs to address the emissions coming from producing the car.”

At our Global Sustainability & ESG Awards on 10th September, Angela will be one of our panel judges. 

Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Rivian, called upon all of the sectors to unite to advance the sustainability of electric vehicles. 

“In terms of building and circularity from the beginning, it’s critical,” Anisa says. “But when it comes to the data and measuring what gets done, publishing our lifecycle assessments, making the methodology open, these are the types of conversations that will really help to provide clarity to consumers and stakeholders, so that we can all move forward together, faster.”

After all, buying a car is often the second-biggest financial investment a consumer makes after their house. The needs and desires of the consumer are at the centre of advancing sustainability in the electric vehicle sector — and these car manufacturers know it. 

Marelli’s Denise Lana Molina on Driving Change at Net Zero LIVE London 2024

To discuss how to drive ESG strategies and build long-term transformation, Denise Lana Molina, Global Head of Sustainability at Marelli, took to the stage on Day 2. Molina started her sustainability career 18 years ago in Brazil and worked across South America before moving to Italy for her current role. Vehicle manufacturer Marelli is based in Tokyo and its complete e-Powertrain system supplier has the scope of managing, controlling and optimising the complete flow of energy in EVs. 

“I think where ESG plays a friendly role is in helping us to harmonise metrics, in how we can make things work and find the common ground,” she says in her talk. “Not even our customers are aligned on what they expect from us as a supplier. When it comes to sustainability, they have different ways of measuring ways of understanding different priorities.”

Denise went on to point out that passenger cars are only accountable for 17% of the world's emissions. The transition to electric vehicles is not enough to decarbonise the sector as a whole. 

Following the event, we caught up with Molina to hear about her experience at the show. 

“I was honoured to share my thoughts and experiences with a high-level audience at Sustainability LIVE's Net Zero event in London,” she says. “The networking sessions allowed me to connect with like-minded professionals and gain new perspectives. The contact continues on Linkedin and I’ve been meeting many interesting professionals to discuss innovative solutions. 

“During the session I led, I had the pleasure of interacting with an engaged and enthusiastic audience, discussing our sustainability work at Marelli, focusing on developing a long-term strategy and execution roadmap and implementing it at speed and agility to make a lasting impact with cultural change.

“My takeaway from the event is an analogy that I like to use: achieving net-zero for companies is like solving a Rubik's Cube — it requires aligning various elements and steps. The difference is that corporations can’t just cheat from watching a video to solve a Rubik's Cube. It starts with getting people on board, taking action, practising and iterating. It may be messy and chaotic, especially in a large international company, but that shouldn't deter us from trying. I guess that, when it comes to net zero, we must move fast and not let perfection be the enemy of progress.”

Marelli’s Denise Lana Molina on Driving Change at Net Zero LIVE London 2024 

Upcoming BizClik Sustainability LIVE events in 2024

Sustainability Magazine has more virtual and in-person events coming up throughout the year. You can hear from leading industry experts at:

Essential diary dates for 2025

  • Net Zero & Scope 3 LIVE 2025 | QEII Centre, London | 5 and 6 March 2025
  • Sustainability Singapore Virtual Conference | 19 March 2025
  • Sustainability Dubai Virtual Conference | 23 May 2025
  • Sustainability LIVE Chicago and Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Chicago | 4 and 5 June
  • Sustainability LIVE & Sustainability Awards 2025 | BDC, London | 9 and 10 September 2025
  • NEW ClimateTech Magazine

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Make sure you check out the latest edition of EV Magazine and also sign up to our global conference series - Sustainability LIVE 2024.

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