WORKING TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
BY JORDAN ARSENEAULT
Michele Morrison’s work as a recycler doesn’t end when she leaves the office.
“My family considers me a little obsessed with recycling,” said Morrison. “I’m always looking for environmentally responsible options for disposing of materials around our home.”
Morrison, who began working for SGI in 1997, became involved with the Saskatchewan Auto Recycler’s Association through a promotion she received from the public insurer in the fall of 2016. She took on the role of director of Salvage Administration and Finance, a position that designated her as SGI Salvage’s delegate for supporting SARA’s activities.
Despite having no formal auto recycling experience, Morison jumped at the opportunity; quickly falling in love with SARA and the impact its members were having on reducing the ecological impact of the automotive sector. By operating according to Canadian Auto Recycler’s Environmental Code (CAREC), SARA has strived to work towards its goal of decreasing the industry’s environmental footprint, something that Morrison takes great pride in.
“It’s not just about selling auto parts; we also care for the environment and promote best practises within the auto recycling industry,” said Morrison.
“Working with SARA has given me perspective about the challenges of the private auto recyclers in Saskatchewan. Not all auto recyclers in the province operate to the same high environmental standards as our SARA members do and environmental regulations would help level the playing field.”
One of Morrison’s biggest accomplishments since working with SARA has been getting the association’s website up and running. Morrison, who graduated from the University of Regina with a certificate in Computer Science, consulted with Steve Fletcher for suggestions on how to best connect with the auto recycling community.
Having previously held the position of manager of Financial Analysis and Administration for SGI, Morrison also provides SARA with both accounting and administrative support. “In my role as Director at SGI Salvage, I have been focused on creating administrative and accounting process efficiencies and improving the financial reporting available to Salvage leadership,” said Morrison.“Our Prince Albert Salvage satellite salvage operation became a separate branch in 2017 and I facilitated getting the systems and financial reporting in place to support its operations.”
Moving forward, Morrison hopes to continue to learn more about the industry by working with auto recyclers and attending auto recycling events and educational sessions. Her eventual goal is to find easier ways for consumers to purchase parts and equipment from SARA, while taking advantage of the most current technology available. By co-operatively working with industry partners, Morrison believes there is potential to encourage the use of recycled parts in the claim process.
“Repair shops can improve their profitability on claim repairs by selecting recycled parts rather than new. Recycled auto parts are original equipment parts, designed for your vehicle and are available at a much reduced price from new,” said Morrison.
“Collision repair costs are minimized by using recycled auto parts. Lowering collision repair costs helps keep insurance costs down because the costs of claim losses are passed along to us as policyholders in the form of premiums.” Morrison believes that to be successful, and further promote sustainability in Canada, recyclers must adapt to changes in informationtechnology, in order to effectively meet the needs of customers. Having the necessary skills to do so will require organizations to recruit employees with skills sets outside of industry, much like in the case of Morrison herself.
“You can contribute in this industry even if you’re not an automobile recycling expert. In addition to knowledge of automobiles and their parts; knowledge about information technology, business, accounting and the environment contributes to a successful career in our field,” said Morrison.
“We need to work together to develop a strong presence and create public awareness of how our industry contributes to a green society.”