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Driving Change: Navigating Environmental Awareness in the Evolving Landscape of the Car Industry

Background

Recent years have seen rise to changes within the car industry. This is due in part to the growing awareness on the impact of carbon emissions and the detrimental impact this has had on our planet, particularly with effects on global warming.

This Has forced changes to the way organizations are now run and considerations that need to be factored and contributed to a shift in business perspectives.

Historically, the car industry has largely been driven by the maximization of profits and traditionally we can argue that the to a large extent consideration included but were not limited to comfort, décor both interior and exterior and capability. The industry was able to utilize this with technological advancements but with the impact of increased awareness on the environment, there is now more than ever other considerations in play. If you are delving into the landscape of environmental studies dissertation help, understanding all the shifting paradigms within the automotive sector can provide insights into the intersection of art, environment, and industry.

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Has the agenda shifted so as to tailor to the current climate and if not, then what impacts will this have? Not only do organization’s have to factor in consumer awareness there, is also legislation requirements to comply with.

Aims and Objectives

This report looks at gaining an understanding as to whether a rise in the focus on the impact of carbon emissions on the planet had any impact on the car industry in the UK and if so how and to what extent. Have business perspectives within the industry shifted in order to tailor to the growing focus on carbon emissions and the overall impact this has on the environment. Based on this aim, the key objectives of the research are:

To understand the carbon environmental impact on the car industry in the UK

To understand the impact of environmental awareness of people on car industry in the UK

To understand how automobile companies operating in the UK have responded with this increasing consciousness of people regarding environmental consciousness and carbon emission

To provide recommendations regarding environmental sustainability in the automobile industry in the UK

Literature Review

Growing concerns in the level of may have since rising concern’s, an article (Carbon Brief, 2020) gives an overview of how despite a tougher stance on the levels of carbon emissions London still has the biggest carbon footprints with the city being responsible for emitting 15.5 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Bearing in mind the data dates back to 2004. Results from this study showed that a combination of High salaries and car ownership could all be linked to higher carbon footprints.

This is supported by the overview of an article from 2018 (Greenpeace International, 2020) which looks at how despite being in a climate emergency, car manufactures effectively are still driving the climate in what’s considered to be a terrifying direction. This according to research is largely due to a growing market share of larger heavier models with the market share of SUV’s increasing fourfold over the last 10 years, and it concludes that despite the increase in automatic cars hasn’t had any impact on reducing emissions.

However, with an opposing view (GOV.UK, 2020), saw the UK becoming the first major economy to pass a `net zero` emissions law with aims for greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. According to the article, the UK has already reduced emissions by 42% even with the growth of the economy by 72% showing signs towards `clean growth` and this could result in green collar jobs growth of up to 2 million. To further emphasize moving towards a cleaner direction, the UK government in 2019 announced in an article (Climate Action - European Commission, 2020), the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/631 setting CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles (vans) in the EU for the period after 2020. This came into effect on 1 January 2020. In line with this is the introduction of penalty payments for excess emissions which means manufactures are now tasked with paying excess emissions premium should their Carbon dioxide emissions exceed the target of any given year.

The impact of these legislations to an extent puts excessive pressure on car manufactures. As car manufactures try to comply with this whilst appearing to have a risen awareness and willing to make changes in order to reduce the level of carbon emissions, this is not always the case. As seen with Volkswagen incident known as the `diesel dupe` which has left the company open to a potential fine of up to 18 billion (BBC News, 2020). The company saw many of their cars being sold with a defeat device that was able to detect when being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The German car giant has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.

There is an array of data on this area particularly as awareness grows and this is a few examples of aids that will assist me in gaining a better understanding and perspective on the impact of the growing awareness of carbon emissions on car manufacturers. This growth in awareness of customers can be observed with the growing sales of electric vehicle in the UK, which is eco-friendly in nature. Following is the amount of registration made by customers in the UK within last one year for electric car registration in the UK.

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Plan

To continue with the proposal study for the final project; I have learnt the importance of time management by setting clear, defined goals. In order to attain this, I will set myself 8 hours a week in order to utilize this, it will be divided into research and writing up my discoveries. I will closely work with my tutor learning skills tutor Piers Vierness, Personal tutor Dean Elizabeth Miller as well as my Private tutor Roselyn Nehanda. I will inform my tutors of my research strategy in a timely fashion.

My first intention is to collect data from various sources in the first two weeks I will do this by dedicating the research to collating data. I will do this by thoroughly investigating background research to see if suitable to propose as a subject dependent on reliable sources available to me to discover; I will do this by reading from textbooks, media outlets, newspapers, data analytics, UK government agencies like DVLA and fuel companies. Core study of The UK’s car industry/transportation statistical outputs, inputs and the UK Standard industrial classification (SIC) with economic activities.

The second stage will be focused on the changes in the UK legislations and European legislation and the affect it’s had on the level of UK Co- emissions. Geographical content materials around London and the United Kingdom which will provide aggregating data on current overall emission’s business practices. Distinguishing informative vehicle data and production programs/reports from motor industries with the constraints and possible solutions at hand within a 3-week period with study of 8 hours per week.

Once I’ve done a full scale study on the relevant subject matter, I’ll be able to compile my findings so as to see whether there is any validity to the aims and objectives posed.

I will conclude my final project within a two-month time frame. The following table demonstrates the timeline for completing the research.

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Methodology

For the purpose of this research a mixed approach is to be employed. This will enable the ability to draw on both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Using this method allows leeway in terms of overcoming limitations that may arise

In order to move towards a greater understanding of mixed methods research the work of Schwandt (2000: 210) can be reflected upon who notes:

'All research is interpretive, and we face a multiplicity of methods that are suitable for different kinds of understandings. So, the traditional means of coming to grips with one's identity as a researcher by aligning oneself with a particular set of methods (or being defined in one's department as a student of “qualitative” or “quantitative” methods) is no longer very useful. If we are to go forward, we need to get rid of that distinction.' (Bell & et. Al., 2019).

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A range of qualitative methods are to be used, because the subject is descriptive in nature. Furthermore, in this research only secondary sources will be used, because collecting primary data from the automobile companies themselves is quite inaccessible, costly and time consuming. Therefore primary data is not feasible for this research. Furthermore, huge amount of secondary information is available on various secondary sources that will be used in this research. Therefore, this research will use journals, video, textbooks as well as the intranet which will have more up to date information regarding the level of carbon emissions (Creswell & Clark, 2007). Collecting data in this respect will enable ease of access and this will be faster than using quantitative data. Use of this method will also assist in drawing of recent changes to legislation regarding the carbon footprint. However; for analytical purposes use of quantitative will be used to gather numerical data, which will be beneficial for this particular research brief.

The report will look at the impact of an environment conscious nation on the car industry and to what extent. It will enable to ascertain if this hypothesis can be quantified or justified to determine if there has been an impact.

References

Bell, E., Bryman, A. and Harley, B. (2019). Business Research Methods. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. London: SAGE publications.

Schwandt, T. A. (2001). Dictionary of qualitative inquiry (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


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