Volkswagen boosts efficiency of production by 25%

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German car manufacturer Volkswagen has revealed that the manufacture of vehicles and components throughout its global production facilities is now 25% more environmentally compatible than it was five years ago, the Automotive World website reports.
 
The company's 'Think Blue. Factory.' initiative established a self-defined energy sustainability target, and was the first ever holistic environmental programme relating to the production of automobiles. The scheme has been so successful that Volkswagen has achieved its target three years earlier than expected.
Volkswagen has a positive reputation for quality, efficiency and innovation; and now it would seem that it can add environmental protection to its list of credentials.
 
Since the launch of 'Think Blue. Factory.', resources at Volkswagen facilities have been used more efficiently and emissions have reduced year-on-year.
 
Of the five pre-determined environmental indicators set out by the company, waste production has seen the best results, falling by as much as 46.5% during this time. This was followed by C02 emissions, down 29.1%; energy consumption (24.7%); water consumption (18.2%) and solvent emissions (8.2%). On average, this means that Volkswagen's overall environmental impact has fallen by just over a quarter (25.3%).
 
The new approach means that all manufacturing plants exchange systematic information on their processes, enabling them to learn best practice advice from each other. At the time of writing, around 2,500 of the 5,000 proposed measures have been adopted.
 
The initiative spans from major projects – such as the use of geothermal energy in Emden – to smaller innovations, such as the use of residual heat for tempering crankshafts in Salzgitter. More than 1,000 global employees also act as ambassadors for 'Think Blue. Factory.', ensuring that specific improvements are rolled out each year across all global plants.
 
So far, the programme has received numerous accolades from the industry, including the Green Tec Award for its energy efficiency and water conservation during production stages; the Sustainovation award for the combined economic and environmental targets for conserving resources; and the National Energy Globe as Germany's top project for a holistic approach to global ecological sustainability.
 
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Volkswagen energy efficiency in production

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