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Meet the team: David Holdcroft, Director of ELV

Olivia Healey

David Holdcroft
David Holdcroft – Director of ELV

"Our teams make sure materials used to build a modern vehicle are re-used within a sustainable, circular supply chain."

World-leading recycler, EMR, is one of the most advanced end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recyclers in the UK and, since September 2022, its vehicle recycling division has been led by Director of ELV, David Holdcroft.

“EMR’s vehicle recycling operations are state-of-the-art, and our teams make sure that as much of the steel, aluminium, copper, plastic and other materials used to build a modern vehicle are re-used within a sustainable, circular supply chain,” David says.

In fact, up to 98%1 of every vehicle that arrives at one of EMR’s sites will go on to build vehicles, household appliances, trains and even homes of the future.

“And the best part is that, as well as recycling your ELV to the highest standard, we will pay a competitive price for it too,” he adds.

While EMR prides itself on recycling vehicles in the most efficient, safe, and environmentally conscious way possible, David is also focused on ensuring the company is delivering the highest standards of service, today and in the future.

“As a family business with more than 80 years of experience in the metal recycling industry, we know just how important it is to deliver great service. That remains true, whether you’re experienced in handling ELVs or a driver looking to recycle a car for the first time.”

If there is one word that encapsulates David’s attitude to customer service, it is ‘simplicity’:

“From the moment a customer arrives at one of our sites, we use clear signage to make the process of recycling as easy as possible. Our staff make sure they always keep their work environment clean and tidy, and our ‘no quibble’ approach means that we will always honour any quote a customer has received for a vehicle, if it arrives on site in the condition they described.”

Despite being a market leader for vehicle recycling in the UK, David is keen not to let the business become complacent – particularly with the challenges the industry will face in the years ahead.

“While EMR is proud of its dedicated staff and market-leading technology, we know that we can’t stand still. The automotive industry is being transformed by the development of new, high-performance electric vehicles (EVs) and as these vehicles eventually reach their end of life, it is vital that there is a sustainable way to recycle them,” he says.

And while EMR’s investment in EV recycling – particularly of the high-value batteries – will help ensure the technology can live up to its green reputation, David also wants to make sure that safety is paramount:

“EVs can be very dangerous, and our teams need to be extremely careful when removing batteries and depolluting vehicles.”

With the transition to EVs presenting such a huge challenge, and an opportunity for EMR in the decades ahead, David says that his career path has prepared him well.

“The main theme that runs through my career is working with market-leading companies who want to differentiate their business and forge a new proposition. One example is my work with a car park operator who faced heavy competition. We installed EV chargers, which opened up a whole new customer base for the firm and gave them a point of difference. Prior to this, at another business, we launched a telematics proposition for fleet management into the fuel card industry.”

Further back, David launched some of the first ever games into the UK mobile phone industry – allowing consumers to download Mario Kart, Splinter Cell and Rayman games on the first WAP-enabled phones.

So, with this experience of innovating in a range of markets, what does David see as the major opportunity for EMR in the years ahead?

“I think there’s a huge opportunity to recycle ELVs to an even higher standard, to work with automotive supply chains to make recovering and reusing materials more efficient and to create greener parts for the next generation of vehicles.”

On average, a vehicle in the UK reaches its end-of-life around 16 years after construction. “So, the next 16 years of recycling is already on the road, some of which contains unique challenges from mixed materials chemically bonded together or rare earth minerals buried within components.

“Whilst we are preparing for the EV revolution, we are also constantly improving our processes and equipment to maximise recovery for vehicles on the road today.”

It’s an exciting prospect and one David is now focused on delivering in the years ahead. In the ever-changing automotive world, there’s plenty to do to keep striding forward.

1When designed for recycle in conjunction with EMR.