Closer Ties by Steve Fletcher

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Closer Ties

Laying out a framework for greater global collaboration and cooperation.

At the 76th annual Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) Convention and Expo in Charlotte, N.C., (October 10-12), one of the highlights was the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC).

This agreement, initially signed by recycling associations in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Malaysia and Australia (since ratified by Brazil and Poland as well); is designed to facilitate closer collaboration, cooperation and communication between the signatory parties that represent the interests of automotive recycling and affiliated businesses worldwide.

Great opportunity

For the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), this represents a great opportunity to put ideas into action and foster closer ties with our equivalent associations around the world. At our most recent ARC meeting in Edmonton, and again at the ARA Convention in Charlotte, we’ve been able to hold some very worthwhile discussions with our American counterparts and emphasize the need to move forward.

As part of the MoC, our association has taken on the task of hosting the website and managing the data from an international perspective. The aim is to provide associations and their members around the world with information they can use or need to be aware of so they can make informed decisions and foster closer collaboration and positive outcomes on a global basis.

There are lots of good things happening in the recycling industry worldwide and with ARC emerging as the data centre for all of this, it represents a great opportunity for auto recyclers here in Canada.

At this stage, it is still very much a pilot project, but we will be populating it with information about what ARC is doing here in Canada in terms of standards, research and communications. The idea is that by doing so, we’ll be able to stimulate conversations and ideas among our peer organizations in different parts of the world, so we can all share what we do, what needs to be done and create a framework for the future.

Different regions, similar concepts

In creating this data base, we are able to see what is happening in different parts of the world related to things such as processes and government regulations. We’re able to analyze certain regions, look at the state of the industry and what the associations are doing there—for example—Europe. From that, we’re able to glean information and see if we can take back something and apply it here in Canada or North America.

Being able to host the website and managing the data has also enabled us to shorten the communications channel, meaning we can know about things happening sooner and take action more quickly.

The great thing about having a collaborative network is that it strengthens not only the industry collectively but also the individual members that are part of it.

Whether we find valuable information coming from the U.K., or India or Malaysia, there’s often a commonality between what the associations and the auto recycling industry is doing in those countries and what we are doing back home.

And no matter which part of the world a significant breakthrough or change is happening that will impact the auto recycling industry, there are always going to be aspects of it that are relevant to other member countries, including Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, we’ve always been known as a nation that fosters cooperation and collaboration and from ARC’s perspective it’s been nice to see that our peer associations in other countries are able to recognize the work we’re doing and that collectively we’re able to create something like this MoC that will provide a significant benefit, not just for us auto recyclers here in Canada, but the entire industry worldwide.

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