We are making cars greener and greener all the time. Their emissions are closing in to zero, which is great for the environment. However, tailpipe emissions are just part of the story – what about emissions, associated with manufacturing process?
Major manufacturers have not forgot about that either – Volkswagen is making huge strides in making its productions processes more environmentally friendly.
In the period from 2010 to 2019 Volkswagen reduced its environmental impact per produced vehicle by more than 37 %. Making cars involves complex industrial processes, which typically are not very green.
Cars are made from metal, have lots of plastic and leather parts, they need to be painted and various components are travelling big distances to reach assembly lines. This causes a tremendous environmental impact, but Volkswagen has made advancements in CO2 emissions, energy use, water use and solvent use, and generated waste. Just in the past two years Volkswagen has reduced its CO2 emissions per vehicle made by 10 %.
This is great news for environment, but also good news for Volkswagen as a business. Just this year alone productivity is expected to increase by 6 %. This reduces the manufacturing costs per car and make investments into green technology worthwhile. This means that Volkswagen is on track to reaching its goal of improving manufacturing productivity by 30 percent over the period 2016 to 2025. The current improvement is actually better than originally planned. Volkswagen is trying to develop a sustainable, socially responsible and a cost-effective mode of operation and so far it is working great.
Oliver Blume, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group and Chairman of the Board of Porsche AG, said: “Inter-brand knowledge transfer and close cooperation are key factors of success in achieving further productivity increases and in reducing costs and investments. We have 122 Group production sites worldwide. This production network offers tremendous potential for synergies. We continue to implement our production strategy measures systematically”.
Volkswagen is a big automotive group. Separate brands, such as SEAT, Škoda, Audi, Bentley and many others are also decreasing their environmental impact. This will be a huge advancement in terms of production sustainability in the future. Also a good marketing point – you are not buying just a green car – you are buying a car that was produced in environmentally-conscious way. And, of course, it will make production more efficient and economic.
Eventually car manufacturers want to have carbon-neutral plants. This is not impossible, if renewable resources will be implemented more.