Audi wants its cars to be eco-friendly as every other manufacturer. However, Audi also pays a lot of attention to carbon footprint the car leaves even before it is delivered to its owner. This philosophy allowed Audi to achieve some impressive results in reducing carbon emissions in its manufacturing process. Now Audi can put another achievement on its wall – it is the first company in Germany to organize its logistics operations by rail to be completely CO2 neutral.
Audi has been partnering with DB Cargo since 2010. The idea is to use electric trains as much as possible, but they must use electricity produced by clean means. Since 2012 DBeco plus have been transporting cars to Emden from the Audi plant in Neckarsulm. Up until now 1,600,000 automobiles have been transported on the green trains. They allow reducing CO2 emission by 13,000 tons every year. So far 63,000 tons of CO2 emissions have been avoided. This is a very big contribution to reducing carbon emissions in Germany and in the world – Audi is really pushing itself to more sustainable logistics.
Not only the trains leaving Audi’s factories are green – the ones coming (inbound) do not emit any CO2 either. Every day 25 trains are loaded or unloaded with materials and cars at the two plants in Germany. Locomotives in the territory of the main Ingolstadt plant are also hybrid – they can operate up to two hours using nothing but electricity.
But how DBeco plus can be CO2 neutral? DB Cargo canclulates the amount of energy its trains are using in these operations. Obviously, it is a lot of energy and a lot of CO2 if locomotives where diesel instead of electric. Then the company replaces the required amount of energy with green electricity, which is obtained solely from renewable energy sources in Germany. Before Audi used trucks, which is much less efficient and much more damaging to the environment. Heiko Schultz, Head of Transport Logistics at Audi AG, said: “With this changeover, we are significantly reducing the CO2 emissions of our logistics operations and are making a sustainable contribution to climate protection”.
Audi is looking forward to the future, where its factories are not going to be emitting any CO2. This, of course, is a long term goal that can only be achieved through extensive use of renewable resources. Just by reading the news it looks like Audi is leading the pack. It’s not about what goes out of car’s exhaust system – it is also what has been done to it to put it on the road.