As Volkswagen’s Think Blue sustainability awareness campaign takes hold in the Middle East, the company is looking to ensure that even the production of its cars offered in the region is environmentally conscious.
Volkswagen Passenger Cars has set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its manufacturing facilities, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of all its plants by 25 per cent by 2018.
“While Volkswagen may not have manufacturing facilities in the Middle East, the company is rapidly expanding in the region - our first quarter sales results showed a 72 per cent year-on-year increase,” says Stefan Mecha, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East.
“Because of this, and because we recently launched our Think Blue initiative in the region, it’s important to us that the environmentally conscious credentials of our cars – including the soon-to-be-launched new Passat - go right back to the factories in which they’re made.”
Part of Volkswagen’s ‘Think Blue’ initiative, ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ aims to significantly reduce future carbon dioxide emissions, waste volumes, energy consumption in megawatt-hours per vehicle produced and overall water consumption.
Volkswagen will shortly bring the brand-new Passat to the Middle East, which is built at the firm’s new Chattanooga facility in Tennessee, USA. It’s the first automobile factory in the world to achieve platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, and uses 20 per cent less energy than a comparable facility.
Designed to be one of the planet’s most advanced and environmentally compatible automobile plants, the Chattanooga facility has been engineered from the ground up to address the reduction of emissions and waste. The design ensures the limited and efficient consumption of energy and fresh water, and uses innovative processes, new materials and energy efficient technologies to ensure the production of each new Passat is as environmentally sustainable as possible.
Key measures at the Chattanooga facility include:
The use of a painting process without any filler, reducing CO2 emissions by about 20 per cent.
By using the most efficient electric motors available, the plant will be able to save around three million kilowatt hours per year
The world’s first automobile paint shop that uses a waterless separation process for topcoat applications.
Low water consumption thanks to the use of collected rainwater.
The first Volkswagen facility to rely entirely on LED technology for outside lighting. Inside, energy saving lamps are controlled by motion sensors and as a whole the plant uses 20 per cent less energy than a comparable facility.