11 July 2012
Volkswagen firms up Group environmental strategy
- Annual conference in Wolfsburg attended by 400 environment experts from the Group
- Global implementation of sustainability strategy – significant contribution to energy transition in Germany
- Structured programs to conserve resources and reduce energy consumption
The Volkswagen Group gave the go-ahead for a fundamental ecological restructuring at the Geneva International Motor Show. Among other things, CO2 emissions by the EU27 new vehicle fleet are to be reduced by 30 percent by 2015, taking the brand below the 120 grams CO2 per kilometer threshold. Every new model generation is to be on average 10 to 15 percent more efficient than its predecessor and there is to be a 25 percent improvement in the environmental compatibility of production in the Volkswagen Group by 2018.
According to Wolfram Thomas, Group Chief Officer for the Environment, Energy and New Business Areas, these plans are now being firmed up by synchronizing the strategy and defining individual pathways for each of the 94 sites worldwide. Speaking at the opening session he said: “Based on the present environmental knowledge of our brands we already possess all the prerequisites for also taking the ecological lead in the global automotive sector by 2018. The secret lies in the efficient networking of our experts all over the world.”
Ulla Ihnen, State Secretary at Lower Saxony’s Ministry of the Environment, added. “Volkswagen has anchored sustainable action throughout the entire value chain and makes a significant contribution to the energy transition in Germany through investment in renewable energies. The government of Lower Saxony is proud and grateful that Volkswagen attaches such great importance to environmental protection and sustainability throughout the Group.”
Günter Damme, Head of Environmental Affairs at Group Research, commented: “We are using the opportunity offered by the conference to firm up the Group’s plans so that we can achieve our ambitious environmental targets.” He cited the Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue. Factory.” program as an example of efforts within the Group.
The Volkswagen plants share their existing knowledge under a structured expert exchange: The Palmela plant in Portugal, for example, converts waste heat which was previously simply vented to atmosphere into energy for the spray booths. At the Emden plant, sensors permanently measure air quality and regulate the ventilation system, thus reducing annual CO2 emissions by 2,700 metric tons. A hydroelectric power station in Polkowice, Poland, supplies the plant there with 100 percent carbon-neutral power. The next stage involves reviewing the extent to which such measures can be transferred to other Volkswagen plants.
Optimizing the environmental impact of a vehicle during all the stages of its life cycle is another subject of intensive discussion at the Group Environmental Conference with the debate focusing on the entire span from product development through procurement and production to logistics, sales, customer use and recycling.
A digital press folder containing further information on topics such as ecological car manufacturing, CO2-neutral electromobility, the latest sustainability report and useful “ThinkBlue.” fuel saving tips is available from www.volkswagen-mediaservices.com.
Volkswagen Group Communications
Spokesperson Environment and Sustainability
Contact: Stefan Ernst
Phone: +49 (0) 5361 / 9-86267
Fax: +49 (0) 5361 / 9-74629
Volkswagen Group Communications
Spokesperson Production & Plants
Contact: Christoph Adomat
Phone: +49 (0) 53 61 / 9-8 62 66
Fax: +49 (0) 53 61 / 9-57 8 62 66