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Interim assessment finds Volkswagen’s “Think Blue. Factory.” program reduced resource consumption by average 24.3% since 2011

Volkswagen reports that it is on track with its “Think Blue. Factory.” environmental program: since 2011, the consumption of resources in vehicle production has been reduced by an average of 24.3% (Earlier post.) To achieve that, Volkswagen has successfully implemented more than 3,400 environmental measures and projects in production at its plants throughout the world. This was the interim assessment of 350 environmental experts from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, the Components business area and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at the fourth “Think Blue. Factory.” day in Wolfsburg. Participants at the annual conference also discussed new targets for the future of vehicle production at Volkswagen.

At the fourth "Think Blue. Factory." day, representatives from all Volkswagen sites presented their ideas and the measures they have already implemented to reduce the use of resources. The Wolfsburg plant, for example, uses an energy management system which analyzes current energy consumption levels and identifies energy-saving potential.

A team at the engine plant in Chemnitz is working on how to save power effectively at weekends and is continuously optimizing shut-down schedules. Volkswagen Bratislava has achieved a significant reduction in solvent emissions from the paint shop by using a special rinsing agent.

The Emden, Polkowice, Hanover, Kassel and Pune plants are focusing on energy recovery. The Volkswagen foundry in Hanover uses waste heat from the cooling system in various applications such as heating offices in winter or to heat up drinking water.

Energy consumption at the Hanover plant in 2014 was the lowest in ten years—even though the production level increased. Energy technology is being completely modernized under the “New Future-oriented Assembly” construction program.

This year, Volkswagen also honored the personal engagement of employees who have shown outstanding commitment to the conservation of resources. The entire logistics team in Chattanooga (US) promoted measures such as the use of fuel cells for materials transport as well as the recycling of paper and plastic, while Vojtech Kiss from Bratislava (Slovakia) turned his attention to recycling water from washing units.

At the Kassel plant, Michael Scholz organizes energy and environmental workshops and is closely involved in measures such as introducing energy and environment labels to optimize the efficiency of machine shut-downs.

Volkswagen Group recently took the top spot again as the world’s most sustainable automaker in RobecoSAM AG’s 2015 annual review of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). (Earlier post.)


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