clean cars from clean factories ' volkswagen takes stock after two years of "think blue. factory."

Nov 14, 2013

- Annual meeting with 350 environmental experts in Wolfsburg
- Best solutions are honored

Wolfsburg, Germany -  Volkswagen is making considerable progress in its efforts to further improve the environmental compatibility of automobile production. This is confirmed by the second "Think Blue. Factory." annual meeting in Wolfsburg, which was attended by more than 350 environmental experts from 27 plants of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands. The annual meeting focused on the presentation of successful results and stronger networking of experts from the international environmental team. Since the launch of the Volkswagen environmental program in 2011, more than half of the 3,400 environmental measures planned at the various locations have been successfully implemented.

"Our program to improve environmental sustainability in production is ground-breaking and has received a number of international accolades and awards. The improvements we have achieved relieve the burden on the environment, reduce costs and also safeguard jobs. More than ever before, our mission is therefore to deliver clean cars from clean factories," said Dr. Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Production and Logistics.

"Every idea and every suggestion is important and reduces the use of the resources available. The ‘Think Blue. Factory.‘ initiative depends especially on the personal commitment of our employees throughout the world," said Prof. Werner Neubauer, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Components.

Volkswagen also honored committed employees from its locations. This year's awards for special personal commitment in the field of environmental protection went to Gerald Meyer from Emden and Valeriy Evstratov from Kaluga (Russia) as well as Jaime Javier Granados Fernandez and Rudolfo Castro Olvera from Puebla (Mexico). The awards for the greatest progress in waste reduction at the plant level went to the plants in Pune (India), Hanover and Salzgitter.

Experts from 27 Volkswagen plants throughout the world presented innovative ideas and successful measures for the reduction of resource use. These included a new concept for part cleaning from the Chemnitz plant which reduces waste at the same time as saving water and energy. Brunswick and Wolfsburg presented innovative burner technologies for components production while the Emden plant reported on measures for environmentally compatible sludge disposal from paint shops.

The Bratislava plant developed innovative ideas for reducing production waste which were then introduced at all the Volkswagen brand's plants. These measures focused on optimizing waste disposal routes among other things. As a result, the plants are now sending some 16% less waste to landfills for disposal than in the previous year. Waste is being recycled to the production process to a considerably greater extent. More material is being reused. Next year, in the third year of the "Think Blue. Factory." program, Volkswagen plants are to focus on reducing fresh water consumption for production.

It was in 2011 that Volkswagen launched the "Think Blue. Factory." program under the motto of "More sustainability – less environmental impact". The objective of the program is to continuously improve the environmental compatibility of production. By 2018, waste production, water consumption and solvent and carbon dioxide emissions are to be reduced by 25 percent. "Think Blue. Factory." is part of "Think Blue." – The Volkswagen brand's holistic initiative for greater environmental sustainability.