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More Sustainability – Less Environmental Impact

Today, more than 350 energy experts from 21 Volkswagen plants met in Wolfsburg for the 2012 “Think Blue. Factory.” annual meeting. They discussed the progress achieved to date in the implementation of the program and agreed on the next milestones for their joint efforts. In December 2011, the plants of the Volkswagen brand had agreed to reduce energy and water consumption as well as wastewater production and CO2 emissions per vehicle by 25% by 2018. The program announced for all Volkswagen brand plants throughout the world is entitled “Think Blue. Factory.”

Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Production and Logistics: “’Think Blue. Factory.’ is a holistic approach that pools all the environmental activities of the Volkswagen brand plants. In brief, we have set two major goals for production: more sustainability– less environmental impact. Each plant has therefore produced an individual, tailor-made development path for achieving our targets by 2018.”

At the 2012 “Think Blue. Factory.” annual meeting, Volkswagen honored the best solutions for reducing energy consumption at Volkswagen production plants. In the category “lowest base load”, the Energy Efficiency Award for the lowest energy consumption was awarded to the Pamplona, Spain and Polkowice, Poland plants. In the category “best performance”, i.e. highest reduction in energy consumption compared with the previous year’s value, the award went to the plants in Polkowice, Poland, and Pune, India, as well as the plastic parts production unit at the Wolfsburg plant.

The special personal commitment of the Volkswagen team was also honored. Employees from the Brunswick, Hanover and Wolfsburg plants were presented with the “2012 Employees’ Award” by the Group Works Council for special ideas in the area of energy saving at the workplace.

Prof. Dr. Werner Neubauer, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for Components: “The topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important in global competition. ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ is a plan of action for all our plants that is based on interchange between experts. However, the key to success in a genuine ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ is the everyday personal commitment of our employees throughout the world.”

In a large number of presentations, experts from the Volkswagen plants reported on measures that had been successfully implemented to reduce the use of resources. The most innovative solutions from each plant were clearly presented in a theme park. For example, the Kassel plant reported on an energy-efficient internal lining for hardening furnaces in component production. The components plant at Brunswick presented an innovative high-temperature filter in the field of plastics technology and the Emden plant reported on the world’s largest geothermal energy facility located directly on the North Sea coast. All in all, 21 energy and environmental departments from the various Volkswagen plants highlighted examples from their everyday work.

As the key topic for next year, “Think Blue. Factory.” will be focusing on the systematic reduction of production waste. Aspects relevant for the implementation of the plans were outlined on the basis of a “2013 waste toolkit”.

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