Audi gets green light on CO2-neutral car plant
The factory that builds Audi’s first pureelectric vehicle, the E-tron SUV, has been certified as CO2-neutral.
It’s a world-first for a high-volume car plant in the premium segment, says the German maker.
Audi Brussels has been awarded a ‘‘CO2neutral site’’ certificate by the Belgian testing company Vinc¸otte. The site covers all production processes and all other emissions generated at the plant either by renewable energies (approximately 95 per cent) or compensates for them with environmental projects (approximately five per cent).
Audi will start production of its first all-electric series-produced model before the end of this year.
‘‘Our first electric car is also the first car in our core competition that is completely climate-neutral in production. We avoid any waste,’’ says Peter Kossler, member of the Board of Management for production and logistics.
‘‘In addition, we are working hard to make all our factories in the Group even more sustainable. We intend to gradually supply our plants with green electricity. And last year, we were the first company in Germany to make all domestic rail transport climate-neutral.’’ Audi says the Belgian site gets its eco-credentials through three main pillars.
The first is changing over to green electricity. This was already done at the site in 2012.
On a total area of 37,000 square metres, the roofs of the plant buildings also have the largest photovoltaic system in the region. In this way, the company saves around 17,000 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to the consumption of around 1500 people.
The second pillar is the supply of heat at the site using renewable energies, also for heating the offices. The plant covers this heat requirement with certificates for biogas. Audi Brussels prevents CO2 emissions of up to 40,000 tons each year through renewable energies. Pillars one and two thus account for more than 95 per cent of overall energy needs.
Audi Brussels offsets further emissions that cannot currently be avoided through renewable energy sources by means of carbon credit projects (the third pillar).
These include, for example, emissions caused by company cars. ‘‘In 2014, we were the first premium manufacturer to measure our CO2 footprint and have it certified,’’ says Rudiger Recknagel, head of environmental protection for Audi.
‘‘Since then, we have been working steadily to reduce it further. We are also installing new technologies at all our plants to reduce water consumption, prevent air pollution and improve recycling.’’
E-tron will be Audi’s first-ever pure-electric vehicle. Set for launch this year. Brussels site based around three pillars: clean electricity, renewable heating and emissionsoffset programmes.