in the US, UK and Canada


Million Vehicles

sold on IAA's platform every year


Billion Dollars

in 2019 revenue

The Path to Drawdown: Industrial Recycling

Project Drawdown defines recycling as the increased recovery of recyclable post-consumer waste (like metals, plastic, glass, etc.) from the industrial and residential sectors of the economy. Recycling replaces the disposal of recyclable materials in landfills and reduces the need to use new material for production.

Waste from manufacturing, construction, restaurants, office buildings, schools and mines accounts for about half of all waste. All that is grouped together as “industrial and commercial waste.” Much of it, though not all, can be recycled, and a range of strategies can enhance recycling rates.

Some of these strategies include create marketplaces for secondary materials to facilitate the exchange of recyclable and reusable goods, innovation in conversion technologies to make more materials recyclable, and adopting circular business models to recapture “waste” as a valuable resource.

Recycling industrial and commercial material can reduce emissions because producing new products from recovered materials often saves energy. As one example, forging recycled aluminum products uses 95% less energy than creating them from virgin materials.

Project Drawdown estimates that, by 2050, a serious commitment to recycling can help avoid 6.02 gigatons of GHG emissions. To get there, recycling practices need to be adopted much more widely that they are now:

  • In 2014, 27% of recyclable waste was recycled
  • By 2050, 68% of recyclable materials should be recycled
  • That’s 2.6% CAGR between 2014 and 2050

If we can achieve this 68% recycling scenario, we can avoid up to 6.02 gigatons of GHG emissions.


IAA, Inc. (stock ticker: IAA) is a digital marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of total-loss, damaged and low-value vehicles. The company has approximately 200 facilities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1982, they're headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.

IAA's Role in Drawdown

IAA allows for the sale of total loss, damaged, and low-value vehicles, as well as their parts, limiting automotive waste and reducing the need for new manufacturing. The sellers of these vehicles include insurance companies, dealerships, fleet lease and rental companies, and charitable organizations. The buyers on the IAA platform put in bids in an auction to purchase the vehicles. Their solutions provide buyers with the vehicles needed to fulfill vehicle rebuild requirements, replacement part inventory, or scrap demand.

By serving as a marketplace for damaged and low-value vehicles for their components, IAA is helping reduce the need to manufacture new vehicles or car parts. 

IAA: What We Like

We'd like to commend IAA for publishing their inaugural sustainability report in 2020. It contains a careful breakdown of their scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This is the necessary first step in reducing emissions toward zero.

IAA: What We Want to See Improve

Set Clear Emissions Reduction Targets

IAA is intending to set emissions reduction targets based on their first sustainability report. We commend IAA for this forward-looking attitude. Their targets should be science-based and in line with the global goal to stay below 1.5°C of global warming by mid-century.

Other Industrial recycling Stocks in the Climate Index

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