CARB designing Sustainable Transportation Equity Project

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is designing the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project Program, and will hold its second program design workgroup in Los Angeles later this month. STEP aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase access to clean transportation, and address community resident’s transportation needs by funding planning, clean... Read more →


Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network moves towards operationalization; Volvo Cars joins; launched by IBM, Ford, Volkswagen Group

The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), a blockchain network committed to strengthening human rights and environmental protection in mineral supply chains (earlier post), announced that its digital supply chain for cobalt has moved beyond pilot phase and is progressing toward use in live production computing environments from spring 2020. Built... Read more →


While physical logistics networks remain indispensable, electrification in local transport is already making an important contribution. However, widespread commercial use of electric drive on long-haul and heavy-duty routes is not yet feasible. This is where sustainable fuels play a crucial role as they could be pivotal in reducing the climate... Read more →


UQ study highlights ESG challenges for critical metals supplies

In a new study published in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, University of Queensland researchers have highlighted the effects environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks will have on the global supply of metals without major innovations in the mining industry. Research on metal criticality has predominately assessed the supply risk... Read more →


France’s high court rules in favor of ending tax benefits for palm oil diesel

France’s Constitutional Council, the highest constitutional authority in the country, ruled in favor of excluding palm oil from the list of biofuels that enjoy tax incentives. The decision enters into force on 1 January, 2020. Oil company Total has estimated it is worth between €70 million and €80 million per... Read more →


Audi has set the goal of successively reducing vehicle-specific CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared with reference year 2015 and over the entire product lifecycle. In the long term, Audi is pursuing the vision of CO2-neutral mobility and aims to be climate-neutral throughout the company on balance by 2050.... Read more →


Advances in the production, use and reuse of batteries mean that the technology could become the most significant intervention to keep global warming within the limits set by the Paris Agreement on climate change between now and 2030, according to a new report commissioned by the Global Battery Alliance, a... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz partners with Farasis for battery cells from carbon-neutral production

Mercedes-Benz announced a partnership with China-based Farasis Energy (earlier post) for the supply of battery cells produced with electricity from renewable energies as well as recycling and the observance of human rights in the supply chain. With Ambition 2039, we have set the course for sustainable mobility. In addition to... Read more →


The aluminum producer Hydro now supplies sustainable aluminum for the battery housing of the Audi e-tron EV. The material is processed and manufactured along the entire process chain in an environmentally friendly manner and under socially acceptable working conditions. This has been confirmed by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) with... Read more →


Toyota to reduce emissions from North American operations by up to 40% by using VPPAs

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is committing to reduce its carbon output in the United States by entering into Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs). It will use them to reduce emissions from its North American operations by up to 40% over the next 3 years. The move represents another major... Read more →


Queen’s University Belfast researchers have discovered that the scaly-foot snail, otherwise known as the sea pangolin, is the first species at risk of extinction due to potential deep sea mining by humans. The research is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The scaly-foot snail. Chrysomallon squamiferum, also known as the... Read more →


Volkswagen issues new corporate environmental mission statement: “goTOzero”

The Volkswagen Group is bundling all its measures in environmental protection under its new “goTOzero” environmental mission statement. With the new Group Environmental Policy, the Group is giving itself and its stakeholders a clear orientation. Our efforts to improve environmental protection cover the entire product cycle, from development, production and... Read more →


Volkswagen Group introducing worldwide Sustainability Rating for suppliers

As of 1 July 2019, the Volkswagen Group will introduce a worldwide Sustainability Rating for its suppliers. This will enable the company to assess the sustainability conduct of its business partners in its supply chain with regard to risks relating to human rights, environmental protection and corruption. We are convinced... Read more →


ISS ESG awards Valeo pole position in ratings for its CSR policy and the quality of its governance

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) rating agency ISS ESG has awarded Valeo pole position in its ESG performance rating of global companies (auto components industry, 64 companies assessed). Valeo has also achieved Prime status for its excellent performance. Valeo scored particularly well in the three areas identified by ISS ESG as... Read more →


BMW Group opens >$1B plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico; digitalization and new sustainability benchmarks

The BMW Group officially opened the company’s new automotive plant in San Luis Potosi in Mexico. The company has invested more than US$1 billion in the new production location. The plant, which already employs 2,500 people, will have a capacity of up to 175,000 units per year once the ramp-up... Read more →


SEAT reduces waste by 34% since 2010, expects to achieve 60% reduction by 2025

Since 2010, SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, has improved its production-related environmental footprint by 34% on average with measures to emit less CO2 and fewer volatile organic compounds, generate less waste and consume less water and energy. Over the next few months, the company will implement measures designed... Read more →


Porsche launches ideas competition for sustainable mobility; €20,000 in prize money

At ‘re:publica’, the digital conference in Berlin, Porsche launched the ideas competition ‘Mobility for a Better World’. Together with its partners, Porsche is looking for fresh ideas and technology for the sustainable future of mobility. Start-ups, students and developers can now submit their projects. A total of €20,000 euros in... Read more →


Volkswagen Group collaborating with Minespider to use blockchain to trace raw material back to point of origin; pilot project on lead

The Volkswagen Group and blockchain specialist Minespider are collaborating to optimize raw material supply chains, eliminate sources of error, and guarantee social and ecological standards. The two will set up a pilot project to achieve transparency in the the global supply chain for lead. Starting in April, Volkswagen will work... Read more →


Volkswagen Group joins collaboration for responsible sourcing of strategic minerals using blockchain; focus on cobalt

Volkswagen has joined an open industry collaboration for the responsible sourcing of strategic minerals that will use blockchain technology to increase efficiency, sustainability and transparency in global mineral supply chains. Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global announced the collaboration earlier this year. (Earlier post.) Joining... Read more →


Researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China have selectively synthesized gasoline- and jet-fuel range C7-C8 cycloalkanes and aromatics by the methanolysis of poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) waste, followed by the solvent-free hydrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO). The C7-C8 cycloalkanes and aromatics can be used as gasoline or additives to improve... Read more →


SEAT has lowered water consumption per car produced by 31% over past 8 years

SEAT has succeeded in lowering its water consumption per car produced by 31% in the past 8 years and is moving towards the goal of achieving 38% by 2025. The paint workshop and the rain test booth are the areas that consume the most water and where most progress has... Read more →


Audi has put a new service-water supply center into operation at the Ingolstadt site. In conjunction with the existing treatment plant, about half of the wastewater produced at the site can now be recycled and treated for reuse. In this way, Audi will saves up to 500,000 cubic meters of... Read more →


In the UK, steelmakers and university experts will partner in a 7-year, £35-million (US$45-million) research network called SUSTAIN. SUSTAIN is led by Swansea University, partnered with the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, and involves more than twenty partners across the UK steel industry: companies, trade bodies, academic experts and research... Read more →


Ford, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem, RCS Global launch blockchain pilot to address concerns in strategic mineral supply chains; cobalt to start

Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global will use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals in an effort to support human rights and environmental protection while helping infuse more transparency into global mineral supply chains. The group, which includes participants at each major... Read more →


Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan are proposing the selective dismantling of certain components from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) to increase the recycling potential of precious metals (PMs). In a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that, in Japan, totals of 33–53% of PMs in ELVs... Read more →


BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics launch cross-industry project to support sustainable cobalt mining

As part of a cross-industry initiative, the BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics have launched a joint cobalt pilot project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A contract to this effect between the companies, together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, will aim... Read more →


Lithium Australia NL reported that its wholly owned subsidiary VSPC Ltd has successfully produced Li-ion battery cathode material, and Li-ion batteries (LIBs), from tri-lithium phosphate produced directly from mine waste using the SiLeach process. SiLeach background. During conventional processing, lithium is recovered only from spodumene concentrates, not lithium micas, which... Read more →


A team led by Kanazawa University in Japan has developed a cleaner method for the recycling of several rare earths (REs) such as yttrium (Y) and europium (Eu) used as phosphors in fluorescent lamps (FLs). End-of-life FLs are a potentially huge source of REs, but harsh and polluting processes are... Read more →


Audi and Umicore developing closed-loop recycling for high-voltage batteries; 95%+ recovery of key elements

Audi and Umicore have successfully completed phase one of their strategic research cooperation for battery recycling. The two partners are developing a closed loop for components of high-voltage batteries that can be used again and again. Particularly valuable materials are set to become available in a raw materials bank. Even... Read more →


BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore partner to develop sustainable life-cycle loop for EV batteries in Europe

The BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore have formed a joint technology consortium in order to work closely together on the continued development of a complete and sustainable value chain for battery cells for electrified vehicles in Europe. The chief objective is to make battery cells sustainable by establishing a closed... Read more →


Audi is the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to receive a certificate from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). With the Performance Standard certification, the ASI confirms that Audi meets the ASI requirements for industrial users of aluminum and sustainably designs and manufactures the aluminum components of the battery housing of the... Read more →


The Volkswagen brand has introduced a new production strategy—TRANSFORM.TOGETHER—which targets a 30% increase in productivity worldwide by 2025 compared to 2018. Production is therefore making a major contribution to achieving the profitability target of over 6% for the brand. We must invest heavily in our future. Electromobility, autonomous driving, new... Read more →


Audi is now the first premium manufacturer to produce automobiles completely free of wastewater. At its site in San José Chiapa, Mexico, the company is using a new water treatment process that collects 100 percent of the wastewater produced there, purifies it and feeds large volumes of clean water back... Read more →


Daimler joins multiple initiatives for a sustainable raw material supply chain; future focus on battery cell supply chain

Daimler has joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, the Responsible Mineral Initiative, the Responsible Steel Initiative and the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative. Joining the four initiatives takes a product’s entire life cycle into account—from development, via procurement and production to recycling. As part of the offensive for a sustainable raw material supply... Read more →


West Virginia University (WVU) researchers are opening a new facility to capture rare earth elements (REEs) from acid mine drainage (AMD) from coal mining. Through a collaborative research and development program with the US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), WVU is opening the Rare Earth Extraction... Read more →


Neste exploring ways to use waste plastic as a raw material for fuels and plastics

Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, is now exploring ways to introduce liquefied waste plastic as a future raw material for fossil refining. The aim of the development project is to proceed to industrial scale trial during 2019. The company’s target is to process annually more than one... Read more →


Volvo Cars announced its ambition that from 2025, at least 25% of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material. Volvo Cars also urged auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop next-generation components that are as sustainable as... Read more →


How many vehicles can the earth sustain?

by Michael Sivak. ​One of the hallmarks of the good life in developed countries is the freedom to move about as we choose in personal vehicles. However, as populous developing countries are gaining in economic power, people in those countries are asking for the same mobility that people in developed... Read more →


At the Movin’On 2018 mobility summit, Michelin announced its ambition that by 2048, all of its tires will be manufactured using 80% sustainable materials (recycled and renewable materials) and that 100% of all tires will be recycled. Today, the world-wide recovery rate for tires is 70%; of that 70%, some... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars plants in Germany to be supplied with CO2-neutral energy from 2022

In Germany, all Mercedes-Benz plants will be supplied with CO2-neutral energy. The preparations for exclusively green electricity for a climate-friendly production in Europe are already well advanced. From 2022, the production of our Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany will operate CO2-neutral. Thereby, we completely forego coal-based electricity and obtain our electrical... Read more →


U of I team uses frontal polymerization for rapid energy-efficient manufacturing of polymers; saving 10 orders of magnitude of energy

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time and energy needed, compared with the current manufacturing process. The findings, reported in Nature, state that the new polymerization process uses 10 orders of magnitude less energy and can cut two orders... Read more →


In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The project is a first step toward realizing the 2030 vision of a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain formulated... Read more →


Dürr is building a paint shop in Mexico for the BMW Group that meets the requirements for connected Industry 4.0 production. This plant, featuring the first integrated smart factory concept from Dürr, is being built at the San Luis Potosí site. San Luis Potosí will build the BMW brand’s best-selling... Read more →


Goodyear offered a preview during the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show of its EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology, a prototype tire for the growing electric vehicle market that will be on the road by 2019 in Europe. Goodyear testing reveals that traditional tires can wear out up to 30%... Read more →


Volkswagen Saxony plants purchasing renewable power

The Volkswagen brand is stepping up the use of renewable energy in production with a view to further reducing its environmental footprint. Starting this year, the three production plants of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH have been supplied with Volkswagen Naturstrom electric power from 100% renewable sources by VW Kraftwerk GmbH. This... Read more →


Scania invests $178M in new foundry; 50% cut in energy consumption through process improvements and heat recovery

Scania plans to invest about SEK 1.5 billion (US$178 million) in a new foundry in Södertälje, Sweden, in order to triple production capacity and achieve a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to the technology and methods used in the current foundry. Through more efficient materials handling and recycling, a... Read more →


BMW Group adopts new approaches for a more sustainable battery cell supply chain; focus on cobalt

Cobalt is one of the key components in production of electrified vehicles and is used in significant quantities in high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The challenge facing companies that work with cobalt as a raw material is that risks related to environmental standards and human rights cannot... Read more →


Global Mobility Report finds world not on track to achieving sustainable mobility

The transport sector is not on track towards achieving sustainable mobility, according to the newly published Global Mobility Report 2017 (GMR). The GMR is the first study to assess the global performance of the transport sector and the progress made toward four main objectives: universal access, efficiency, safety, and green... Read more →


Ecoclean cuts BMW engine plant robot cell power and water consumption by ~30%

At the BWM Group’s engine plant in Steyr (Austria), in a reference project accompanied by the Technical University of Vienna, Ecoclean Monschau (formerly Dürr Ecoclean) has significantly raised the energy efficiency of a flexible EcoCFlex Classic robot cell that had been in service for several years. The system’s electric power... Read more →


Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have found that the air pollution and greenhouse gas costs of shipping crude by rail are nearly twice as large as those for oil pipelines. Further, their estimates of air pollution and greenhouse gas costs are much larger than estimates... Read more →