The goal is zero – Environmental management in Audi production
- Scoring with continuity: Audi continues to promote the Mission:Zero environmental program worldwide
- New influencing variable: The coronavirus impacts the Group’s environmental performance indicators
- Economic success and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive; instead, they are inextricably linked
It is clear to Audi: Economic success and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive; instead, they are inextricably linked and build on each other. Ideally, the one accelerates the success of the other, and does so along the entire value chain of the car. In this context, the Mission:Zero environmental program is an element of the corporate strategy.
As the name already suggests, the goal is to consistently reduce our ecological footprint in the direction of zero. Four action areas play a central role in this respect: decarbonization, water usage, resource efficiency and biodiversity. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and the environmental mission statement of the Volkswagen Group act as guiding principles.
Audi wants to achieve net carbon-neutral 1 operations at all its sites by 2025 as a means of contributing to meeting its target of offering carbon-neutral premium mobility. Four main approaches are being followed to achieve this goal. First: a continual increase in energy efficiency in the context of energy management. Second: an expansion of the supply of renewable energies at the sites. Third: the purchase of renewable energies. And fourth: the offsetting of currently unavoidable CO₂ emissions through compensation projects.
“When it comes to decarbonization of the sites and production, our major challenge in 2021 is to implement the master plan defined for this purpose with the measures we have now prioritized,” explains Markus Faigl, who heads up the “Decarbonization of sites” action area. Measures were preferred here that have the largest leverage in terms of reducing carbon emissions so that the goal of “net carbon-neutral
1 production sites by 2025” is clearly addressed.
A special technical challenge is the integration of renewable energies into the existing infrastructures at the sites, some of which have evolved over decades, while at the same time keeping production up and running. Faigl: “What I especially like about my work is that Mission: Zero allows us to contribute substantially to the energy transition at Audi and, at the same time, prepare the energy and media infrastructure of the plants for the future.” Good examples of this are not hard to find: In 2020, Audi Hungaria became the second Audi site after Audi Brussels in 2018 to achieve net carbon neutrality. 1
Audi wants to achieve net carbon-neutral
1 operations at all its sites by 2025 as a means of contributing to meeting its target of offering carbon-neutral premium mobility. Four main approaches are being followed to achieve this goal. First: a continual increase in energy efficiency in the context of energy management. Second: an expansion of the supply of renewable energies at the sites. Third: the purchase of renewable energies. And fourth: the offsetting of currently unavoidable CO₂ emissions through compensation projects.
“When I look back at the reduction in carbon emissions in transport logistics, I’m rather proud that we took a major step forward in 2020,” explains Hans Rosicki, who heads up the “Decarbonization of logistics” action area. “We’re utilizing the synergies in the supply chain through close collaboration between the plants and headquarters, working together within the Volkswagen Group and cooperating with external partners. The employees in transport planning, for example, have succeeded in switching transport to rail and making more intensive use of trucks with alternative fuels. In addition, we established and executed extensive training programs to raise awareness among all our employees of the topic of climate and environmental protection in logistics.
Direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions by the Audi Group in t
There are various reasons for the enormous reduction in CO2 emissions. On the one hand, energy requirements in general declined, as did the use of fuels. On the other hand, the purchase of energy from renewable sources at the sites progressed further with increased sourcing of green electricity in Neckarsulm and San José Chiapa and the purchase of biogas certificates in Győr.
|Total CO₂ emissions||619,140||451,725||231,334|
|Direct CO₂ emissions (Scope 1)5||202,031||198,730||172,387|
|Indirect CO₂ emissions (Scope 2)6||417,110||252,9957||58,946|
5) Direct CO₂ emissions: This figure is made up of CO₂ emissions generated by the use of fuel at the plant and CO₂ emissions produced by the operation of test rigs.
6) The process of selecting relevant emissions and the emission factors used are anchored in Volkswagen standard 98000, as is the entire key figure collection process. Generally, Audi uses the real emission factors of the energy suppliers. If this is not possible, calculations are conducted on the basis of the VDA’s standard factors.
7) Correction in the recording of green electricity for 2019.
Other air emissions in t
As well as the CO₂ emissions at the production locations, Audi measures other emissions that are generated by painting work, by the operation of test rigs or by existing power generating facilities, for example. The reduction in emissions in the year under review can be explained by a coronavirus related lower production figure since less vehicle surface was painted (VOC9 and total dust). In addition, however, process optimizations were carried out in the paint shops in the year under review that will continue to have a positive impact over the long term, not just in 2020.
|Direct NOx emissions8||202||190||177|
|Sulfur dioxide (SO₂)||2.14||2.05||2.03|
|Total dust (PM)||58||41||33|
8) Direct NOX emissions: This figure is made up of NOX emissions caused by the boiler houses at the plant, by paint shops and by the operation of test rigs.
9) VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds): This figure is made up of emissions from the paint shops, test rigs and other facilities.
Preventing water shortage, protecting drinking water quality: In terms of its water usage, Audi uses efficient processes and a water cycle at its production sites for the sustainable production of its cars. “The careful use of a resource such as water is a key priority in the Audi environmental policy,” says Daniel König.
A good example of this is the sustainable water KPI introduced additionally throughout Audi in 2020 (KPI water AUDI). It evaluates water consumption in accordance with the different site conditions and relates this to the units produced. Daniel König: “The new indicator allows us to control measures in such a way that they are implemented strategically where they are most effective for Audi as a whole.”
Natural resources are important production factors and a basis for industrial added value. Audi wants to use resources even more effectively and efficiently, and is also continuously developing its recycling expertise.
Resource efficiency is much more than just waste management. It starts with use of the right materials across the entire product emergence process and ends with reuse. “My vision is to establish a 100 percent cycle in our entire production chain,” explains László Horváth.
Environmental protection is the sum of many small things, as clearly demonstrated recently by a project in Neckarsulm. Numerous packaging materials accrue when assembling a vehicle since suppliers package most parts in plastic film or wrap for protection. Audi collects waste films on a large scale, delivers these to a recycling company based in the region, which uses them to manufacture new films, and these are then used in the plant again. “This example has a dual effect: first, less impact on the environment by recycling rather than incinerating materials. And fewer CO2 emissions owing to the short transport routes,” explains László Horváth. The raw material thus remains for longer within the Audi closed loop. Horváth: “This is successful thanks to cutting-edge technology and strong partnerships. We can only achieve our goals by working together with other companies – such as our suppliers and recycling companies – and with their specific know-how.”
Loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest ecological challenges alongside climate change. Audi is committed to preserving biodiversity and thus joined the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative several years ago. “Moreover, Audi is conducting biodiversity projects at all of its sites to play its part in helping preserve biological diversity,” explains Antje Arnold. “What’s wonderful about this is that the results of our work in this area are often visible – as we can see from one of our biodiverse flagship projects in the Audi production plant in Münchsmünster. The open spaces across the entire site have been turned over to nature. The number of species that are interesting and important for the region is growing constantly. It really is a lot of fun!”
Further biodiversity development projects are planned for 2021 on the site’s grounds, such as facade greenery or the conversion of lawns to blooming meadows.