THE STANDARD

The Automotive Performance Index (API) is developed using the scientific principles of ecological economics, where social, environmental and economic considerations are all equally important in determining overall value. This transdisciplinary field examines the relationship between ecological and economic systems, realizing that sustained economic activity is fully reliant on a resilient ecological system to provide natural, social and human capital. Ensuring that economic activity does not undermine the resource capacity of our natural environment requires careful considerations to ensure costs are not externalized (otherwise not accounted for) to the environment, to the labor force and to their communities.

The Standard from which the API derives, is based on 45 fundamental social, environmental and economic indicators, that together account for thousands of data points and algorithmic calculations, and years of research by the ASG and supporting research institutions, government agencies, NGOs and international bodies alike. The Standard is a working standard, one that will evolve to incorporate additional indicators as data comes available and as manufacturers engage to enhance the API's reach.

 

THE INDICATORS

1 ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT using product life-cycle assessment (LCA)
1.1 Raw Material Acquisition Gate (Resource Extraction): primary resources used in production
1.1.1 Energy associated with material extraction and processing: product composed of primary and secondary materials that require less energy to extract and process; product composed of recycled materials and materials with high recyclable utility to reduce reliance on primary resource extraction
1.1.2 GHG emissions associated with material extraction and processing: product is composed of primary and secondary materials that reduces waste stream; UChicago Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy GREET Model
1.2 Factory Gate (Production): product manufacturing and assembly
1.2.1 Energy used in manufacturing processes and product assembly lines, with consideration for energy source distribution
1.2.2 GHG emissions associated with vehicle production: UChicago Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy GREET Model
1.3 Transport Gate (Product Distribution): shipping product from overseas facilities
1.3.1 Energy used and GHG emissions generated by product transport from country of assembly to U.S. end buyer
1.4 Consumer Gate (Use phase): end user operations including fuel input cycle
1.4.1 Energy used and GHG emissions generated by fuel extraction, processing and delivery: UChicago Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy GREET Model
1.4.2 Energy used and GHG emissions generated by driving: UChicago Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy GREET Model
1.5 Grave/Cradle Gate (End of Life): material recovery and disposal
1.5.1 Energy used and GHG emissions generated by vehicle dismantling for material recovery and disposal: UChicago Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy GREET Model
2 SOCIAL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT using corporate and State (country of assembly) commitment to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the United Nations Global Compact
2.1 State (country of assembly) duty to protect human rights: ratification of the United Nations International Labor Organization’s Fundamental Human Rights Conventions
2.1.1 State ratification of freedom of association and collective bargaining conventions (Conv. 87; Conv. 98)
2.1.2 State ratification of elimination of forced and compulsory labor conventions (Conv. 29; Conv. 105)
2.1.3 State ratification of elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation conventions (Conv. 100; Conv. 111)
2.1.4 State ratification of abolition of child labor conventions (Conv. 138;  Conv. 182)
2.1.5 State commitment to uphold the rule of law: provides access to remedies when human rights and labor abuses occur (The World Bank - The Worldwide Governance Indicator Project)
2.1.6 State accountability to freedom of speech: extent to which citizen's have freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free media (The World Bank - The Worldwide Governance Indicator Project)
2.1.7 State control of corruption: extent to which public power is exercised for private gain (The World Bank - The Worldwide Governance Indicator Project)
2.1.8 State political stability: absence of violence/terrorism
2.1.9 Effective governance - extent to which government effectively formulates and implements social policy
2.1.10 Regulatory Quality -  extent to which government effectively formulates and implements policy that promotes private sector development
2.2 Corporate responsibility to protect human rights, labor and the environment: managing corporation demonstrates the execution of a corporate commitment to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and is an active participant
2.2.1 Corporation expresses their commitment to support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights for all through a statement of policy that adheres to the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
2.2.2 Corporation supports and respects the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights for all
2.2.3 Corporation ensures they are not complicit in human rights abuses
2.2.4 Corporation ensures freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
2.2.5 Corporation ensures the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor
2.2.6 Corporation ensures effective abolition of child labor
2.2.7 Corporation ensures the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
2.2.8 Corporation supports the precautionary approach to environmental challenges
2.2.9 Corporation takes initiative to promote greater environmental responsibility and encourages the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
2.2.10 Corporation works against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery
2.3 Corporate responsibility to environmental protection
2.3.1 Corporate Environmental Policy: managing corporation demonstrates the execution of an environmental management system for all manufacturing facilities that meet the established industry standard 
2.3.2 Supplier Environmental Policy: managing corporation requires, at minimum, 80% of all tier one suppliers to demonstrate the execution of an environmental management system that meets the established industry standard, with aggressive goals to bring all suppliers up to this standard
2.3.3 Product Life-cycle Assessment: managing corporation conducts life-cycle assessment of complete product line
2.3.4 Product Design and Development: managing corporation integrates environmental considerations in product design and development in accordance with the established industry standard
2.3.5 Sustainability Report: managing corporation publishes an annual corporate report consistent with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines or equivalent
2.3.6 Efficient & Sustainable Energy Supply Strategy: managing corporation commits to and measures for efficient and renewable energy use throughout product development
2.3.7 Efficient Water Supply Strategy: managing corporation commits to and measures for efficient  and sustainable water use throughout product development
2.3.8 Air Quality: managing corporation measures air quality impacts from manufacturing processes and establishes aggressive goals to minimize emissions
2.3.9 Efficient Powertrains & Fuels: managing corporation incorporates efficient powertrains and alternative fuels in product offerings, including hybrid technologies
2.3.10 Commitment to Electromobility Development: managing corporation demonstrates a commitment to electromobility by aggressively developing an electric vehicle accessible to the average consumer
2.3.11 Zero Waste Facilities: managing corporation has landfill free manufacturing facilities on-line and is aggressively converting all manufacturing facilities to zero waste
2.3.12 Corporate Commitment to Biodiversity: managing corporation demonstrates a commitment to biodiversity through partnerships, land conservation efforts, wildlife protection and other
2.3.13 Environmental performance for country of assembly with emphasis on ecosystem vitality and environmental health: Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Environmental Performance Index. Emerson, J.W., A. Hsu, M.A. Levy, A. de Sherbinin, V. Mara, D.C. Esty, and M. Jaiteh
3 ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT using purchase price and operating costs with consideration for efficient use of natural resources during the use phase
3.1 Purchase price
3.2 Carrying and operating costs: forecasted fuel costs according to fuel type, grade and mix per U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Energy Information Administration appreciation models