We at Copart Germany are continuously working to align our business model with recognized environmental, sustainability, and governance standards in the EU. In fact, our existing business model aligns favorably with most of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.
17 Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals which were developed by global partnerships around the world. According to the United Nations, “ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”
Copart might not come to your mind first when you think about environmental responsibility. However, we provide possibilities for the global reuse and recycling of vehicles, parts and raw materials, which aligns with goal 12 & 13.
Many of the vehicles we process and remarket are subsequently restored to drivable condition, reducing the carbon emissions costs associated with new car manufacturing. Furthermore, many of the vehicles assigned to us for sale are purchased by dismantlers, who recycle and refurbish parts for vehicle repairs, again reducing the carbon emissions associated with new and aftermarket parts manufacturing. Lastly, some of the vehicles we handle are returned to their raw material inputs through scrapping, reducing the environmental impact from new minerals mining and processing. In each case, our business has reduced adverse carbon emissions and other environmental impacts of the global transportation industry.
Our business model enables efficient resource processing through innovation and technology which aligns with goal 9. We were the first salvage vehicle operator to move to a pure online auction format in 2003 in the U.S., which dramatically increased the number of potential buyers at our auctions. As a result of these technological innovations, we were able to consolidate the fragmented salvage car industry into an even more efficient conduit for materials reuse and recycling. Our strategy is to replicate and expand our business model and online auction platform in locations with less efficient models for recovering, storing and monetizing salvage vehicles.
Responsible Land Use and Operations
Our internal business operations and responsible land use activities are another example of our social responsibility and align with goal 6. The salvage vehicles that we recover and store in our facilities contain motor oil and other chemicals that could potentially threaten the environment without our careful management. However, our business operations take into account vehicles that pose an unreasonable risk of contamination, and we proactively manage and mitigate those risks. Our commitment to environmental protection is evidenced by our long history of storing salvage vehicles in our facilities without any material environmental contamination events attributed to our operations. We believe that our business activities reduce the environmental risks that the salvage vehicles would otherwise impose on the communities we serve.
Weather Catastrophe Response, Cleanup and Recovery
Weather catastrophe cleanup and recovery services is an integral part of our business model and contributes to the public health and safety of the communities we serve. This closely aligns with goals 3, 6, 9, 11 and 13. As evidence of our strategic commitment to promoting community resilience in the aftermath of weather-related natural disasters, over the past three years we have invested heavily in land, equipment, and logistics resources to enhance our ability to respond to weather-related natural disasters. While we at Copart Germany are working on establishing valuable partnerships with insurance companies such as VKB, other Copart locations establish CAT teams.
Promoting Affordable Transportation in Developing Countries
We believe that our business model promotes economic development and poverty reduction, which in turn helps to lessen economic inequality and aligns with goals 1-4 and 8-10.
Many of the vehicles sold through our auction platform are purchased for use in developing countries where affordable transportation is a critical enabler of economic development, agriculture production, education, health care, and well-being more generally. The linkage between affordable transportation and economic development and poverty reduction is documented by the United Nations in the 2014 article Poverty and Sustainable Transport: How Transport Affects Poor People with Policy Implications for Poverty Reduction, by Paul Starkey and John Hine.
In an effort to expand our beneficial impact on economic development in developing countries, we have begun new marketing initiatives to educate potential buyers on our auction model and facilitate increased international buyer representation in our auctions, with pilot programs in central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Commitment to Ethical Business Practices
Copart is committed to conducting our business in a legal and ethical manner in all of the locations in which we operate. To this end, we have adopted a code of business conduct, which applies to all of our global personnel. Among other things, our code of business conduct expressly prohibits business activities that involve bribery, human trafficking and slavery. We have also established a whistleblower hotline that enables anonymous reporting of violations. These features of our business operations align with goal 16. We are also proud to support our local community and have many exciting upcoming projects planned to enhance corporate social responsibility at Copart. If you want to learn more about our brand and what we do, please check out the About Us page.