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VW plans to grow green plants

Blue thinking: VW has promised to make its factories more eco-friendly, in line with its cars.

Volkswagen targets 25 per cent improvement in factory eco-impact by 2018

30 Dec 2011

EUROPE’S biggest car-maker, Volkswagen, has committed to slicing the environmental impact of its factories by 25 per cent in six years because, it says, that will deliver a competitive advantage.

The Think Blue. Factory program – an extension of the Think Blue program to improve factory efficiency and promote environmentally friendly motoring – will apply to energy consumption, waste volumes, air-borne emissions, water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from VW’s passenger car plants around the world by 2018.

VW passenger car board member for production and logistics Hubert Waltl said VW plants had already made major gains in efficiency and productivity.

“However, we are going a step further: by 2018, we intend to make production at all our plants 25 per cent more environmentally compatible," he said.

The cuts will be based on 2010 levels, using measurements such as megawatt-hours per vehicle produced, waste volumes and water consumption.

VW board member in charge of components, Werner Neubauer, said VW was pursuing a clear strategy that pooled all environmental activities at its plants around the world.

"Sustainable, efficient production is a clear competitive advantage," he said.

VW claims its new Chattanooga plant in the United States is one of the most eco-friendly car factories in the world, with energy-saving and waste-conservation measures.

To highlight the new program, VW plans to reward notable environmental gains in energy consumption reduction by honouring plants at a Volkswagen Energy Cup on an annual Think Blue. Factory day.

In May, environmental activist group Greenpeace attacked VW for overstating its green credentials, saying the German company activity lobbied against CO2 emissions cuts and fell short of rivals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions of its products.

It said that between 2006 and 2009, VW decreased its average emissions per kilometre by 7.8 per cent, while BMW and Toyota cut emissions by 18 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

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