Balancing economics and ecology is a core aspect of Audi’s identity. Audi takes a transparent approach to environmental protection at the company and gets every employee involved in the related activities. This ensures that Audi systematically meets its environmental goals. The Audi Production System (APS) has been used intensively for this purpose in recent years as a means of implementing the company’s environmental policy at all levels. AUDI AG makes important contributions to sustainable development and environmental protection also by participating in the fifth Bavarian Environmental Pact (2015-2020).
Along the way to sustainable mobility, it is important that the environmental balance of an automobile’s entire lifecycle is optimized even before the first kilometer is driven. AUDI AG is therefore working hard to improve the carbon footprints of its manufacturing sites. The company has set itself the target of reducing its specific CO2 emissions by 25 percent by the year 2018 compared with emissions in 2010. Within the context of energy supply at Audi’s German sites, there are plans to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 40 percent per reference unit by 2020. Audi is pursuing a vision of completely CO2‑neutral and waste-water-free manufacturing of all vehicles made in Ingolstadt. The other sites will gradually follow. In this context, the Audi Group’s corporate carbon footprint was certified in 2014 according to the globally valid standard ISO 14064. Audi is thus the first manufacturer in the premium segment with this certification. Based on detailed calculations, the Group’s total emissions of greenhouse gases are transparent along the entire value chain; this takes into consideration the emissions of the production plants including those of suppliers and services providers for all areas.
Environmental protection also means using natural resources sparingly. It is important for example to reduce noise emissions, waste water and energy consumption. Compared with figures from 2010, the entire Group has targeted a 25 percent reduction per reference unit by 2018 with regard to each of the following environmental factors: energy, fresh water, waste disposal and organic solvents (volatile organic compounds).
- Audi is using more and more green power at its production facilities. Since early 2012, for instance, the entire Ingolstadt plant has been running on electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Also since 2012, the plant in Brussels has been using eco-friendly hydroelectricity.
- Ecological construction makes sense: The customer building of Audi Neuburg has been awarded the DGNB certificate in platinum by the German Sustainable Council (DGNB).
- The modern paint shop at the plant in Győr helps to reduce energy consumption as well. As a result of dry separation using recirculated air, energy consumption has been reduced by up to 50 percent compared with the conventional wet-separation technique. Solvent emissions have actually been reduced by more than 70 percent.
- The new paint shops in Ingolstadt is fitted with this separation technology. The paint shop of Audi de Mexiko also works with this technology.
- Since the fall of 2015, the new geothermal plant near Győr (Hungary) has covered approximately 60 percent of Audi Hungaria’s heating requirements. This allows CO2 emissions at that site to be reduced by a further 19,800 tons per annum.
- Audi uses “green trains” powered by renewable electricity to transport cars from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm to the North Sea shipment port in Emden, Germany. The reduction in CO2 emissions each year amounts to 8,305 tons at the Ingolstadt site and 4,197 tons at the Neckarsulm site.
- Since November 2015 at the Ingolstadt site, a modern plug‑in‑hybrid locomotive has been in use for switching work. Emissions are significantly lower than with a conventional locomotive.
- Photovoltaic systems are in operation at many sites of the Audi Group.
- Environmental protection at Audi does not end at the factory gate. The Eichenwald research project started back in 2008. In addition to the first test area near Ingolstadt, the project now covers various areas near the sites in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Győr (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy) and San José Chiapa (Mexico) with a total of 100,000 trees.
- In 2015, Lamborghini became the first company worldwide to be certified by DNV GL(Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd) for CO2‑neutral production in the program Carbon Neutrality. Automobili Lamborghini achieved this goal by reducing and compensating for the CO2 emissions caused in its production in the year 2015. Key factors were the new trigeneration plant that went into operation in 2015 (CO2 reduction of approximately 820 tons per annum) and (also since 2015) the use of waste heat from a nearby biogas plant (CO2 reduction of approximately 1,800 tons per annum).
AUDI AG’s commitment to environmental issues is also demonstrated by the Audi Environmental Foundation, which has an endowment of five million euros. The foundation’s aim is to protect the natural basis for the lives of people, animals and plants. (www.audi-stiftung-für-umwelt.de)
- For the fifth time, the environmental foundation Audi Stiftung for Umwelt GmbH awarded the Sustainable Resource Management Award (SRM). With this annual prize, the foundation recognizes the best final dissertations of students on the course for sustainable resource management at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). (The prize in 2015 went to the Australian Samuel Gordon Munro.)
- In December 2014, the Audi Environment Foundation started another project for the protection of endangered species, with the aim of converting disused transformer substations into “beacons of biodiversity.” The pilot phase with three selected transformer substations in Baden‑Württemberg, Bavaria and Thuringia has been successfully completed. Expert support was provided by the Association for the Protection of Species in Franken, a purely voluntary organization.
- The Audi Environment Foundation is also supporting the HOBOS bee project of the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg under. HOBOS stands for HOneyBee Online Studies, and is the only online learning platform of its kind in the world. Interested parties can at any time view two beehives on video and scientifically observe the bees’ behavior. In the context of this partnership, a high-tech beehive, the so-called “smart HOBOS,” has been located on the site of Audi’s production facility in Münchsmünster since late April 2016.