Title: Can the motor vehicle manufacturing industry be sustainable? Exploring the relationships between profitability, the green economy and environmental sustainability in South Africa

Authors: Prue Portia Jacqueline Mutumi; Danny Simatele

Addresses: School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Bernard Price Building, P/B 3, 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa ' School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Bernard Price Building, P/B 3, 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract: This paper discusses the applicability of environmental sustainability initiatives within the motor vehicle manufacturing industry in South Africa. Sustainability principles remain contested because of divergent interpretations although several studies have suggested the concept refers to using resources to meet intergenerational societal needs, whilst ensuring ecological conservation. The South African manufacturing industry which houses vehicle manufacturing has been identified as a suitable industry for pursuing sustainability principles, largely because vehicle industries yield resources and power that can facilitate mainstreaming a green agenda under the 'green growth path' the country has adopted. Using secondary and primary data collected through an extensive literature review and a pilot study, this paper discusses how the automotive industry can align itself with environmental sustainability principles within regulatory structures on a national, regional and global scale. This has been analysed vis-à-vis current debate on the relationship between the 'green economy' and sustainable development, emphasising on environmental sustainability.

Keywords: sustainability; green economy; motor vehicle manufacturing; environmental management systems; EMS; South Africa.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2017.089999

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.20 No.3/4, pp.285 - 305

Available online: 12 Feb 2018

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