The Volkswagen Group will aim to cut the energy and water consumption, waste volumes and airborne emissions of its global factories by a quarter, as part of an initiative announced yesterday. VW’s ‘Think Blue. Factory’ plan targets a 25 per cent cut in the above, with carbon emissions included, by 2018.
"Sustainable, efficient production is a clear competitive advantage," said Werner Neubauer, VW brand Board of Management member. "With its 'Think Blue. Factory.' initiative, we’re pooling all environmental activities at our plants throughout the world. Our ambitious targets for sustainable vehicle production have now been defined in a way which is clear and comprehensible for our customers."
The announcement’s most ambitious requirement, with ever-increasing automation of production, will be in reducing energy consumption. Energy used will be measured on a megawatt-hours per vehicle basis, however – allowing VW the option to simply ramp up production more efficiently in order to meet its target.
Volkswagen’s new plant at Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the first automobile factory worldwide to receive platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recently. Platinum certification confirms compliance with the LEED’s most demanding standards for sustainable production.