Compiled By Jill Jusko Increased business performance and reduced environmental impacts are the twin goals of Suppliers Partnership for the Environment, a forum for automotive suppliers to share environmental best practices throughout the supply chain. "The [Suppliers Partnership] will enable automotive original equipment manufacturers to actively engage all levels of their supply chains in development of commonsense approaches to reducing environmental impacts," says Rebecca Spearot, the partnership's first chair and director of environmental management at Lear Corp., a Southfield, Mich., maker of automotive interiors. The industry-led forum is a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Institute for Standards and Technology's (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). In addition to providing a forum for sharing best practices, the partnership will address specific issues, provide technical assistance on energy and materials-use optimization, and identify and address externally driven environmental impacts. The partnership grew out of a program between General Motors Corp. and the EPA. "While working with EPA on a pilot project initiated with our Saturn division, we identified real opportunities to improve both the environment and the competitiveness of companies in our supply chain," explains Pat Beattie, GM director of environmental services. The partnership is open to all automotive companies, says Lear's Spearot, and includes among its members Ashland Inc., Delphi Corp., GM, Johnson Controls Inc., Motorola Inc., and Visteon Corp. For additional information, call 202/530-0096, or go online to www.supplierspartnership.org.