Audi on the road toward CO2-neutral production sites

Audi on the road toward CO2-neutral production sites

23.11.2020: By 2025, production at all Audi locations is to become carbon-neutral Plants in Brussels and Győr already successfully converted

By 2025, production at all Audi locations is to become carbon-neutral
Plants in Brussels and Győr already successfully converted
CO2 program in the supply chain unlocks reduction potential for energy-intensive materials such as aluminum, steel and battery components
Joint pilot project for chemical recycling launched with Karlsruhe Institute for Technology

AUDI AG intends to contribute its share to achieving the Paris climate goals. The company has initiated a large number of actions along the entire value chain to support the vision of achieving carbon neutrality on the environmental balance sheet by 2050. All actions to reduce the environmental footprint in manufacturing and logistics are concentrated in the environmental program billed as Mission:Zero.

In addition to initial reports of success, there is a strategic plan for how the goal is to be achieved at the Audi locations by 2025, focused on one of the key challenges: a carbon-neutral automobile production footprint. However, the commitment to sustainable manufacturing is not limited to the company’s own sites: As part of the CO2 program, Audi and its suppliers have identified CO2 reduction potential within the supply chain and decided to implement related actions, focused on the production of particularly energy-intensive materials such as aluminum, steel and battery components.

Audi produced about 1.8 million cars* at its locations around the globe last year. Accordingly, making product manufacturing as sustainable as possible is an ambitious aspiration. “A major proportion of the emissions in an automobile’s lifecycle are generated during its utilization phase. However, along with the growing proportion of electrified vehicles, these emissions increasingly shift to the manufacturing phase,” says Peter Kössler, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Production and Logistics.

“This is where we have a decisive lever as manufacturers. By achieving carbon neutrality for our production sites and consistently carrying this aspiration into our supply chain, we ensure that our automobiles reach the customer with a smaller carbon footprint.” The company has set itself the ambitious goal of progressively achieving a 30-percent reduction of vehicle-specific CO2 emissions by 2025 – compared to the reference year of 2015 and along the entire product lifecycle.

Compared to manufacturing of less complex goods, the technologically sophisticated and energy-intensive production of vehicles poses an enormous challenge in terms of decarbonization. Audi has already reached two milestones in “clean” production: Back in 2018 the Brussels location, where the Audi e-tron model range is produced, was awarded the certificate for CO2-neutral production.

The key actions supporting climate-neutral production at a glance: Conversion to green electricity and installation of a large photovoltaics system (107,000 square meters), heat supply to the site using renewable energies covered by certificates for biogas, and compensation for currently unavoidable emissions by certified carbon credit projects. These three pillars – accompanied by other measures – provide the blueprint for decarbonizing the other sites as well, albeit with differences in the relevant regional opportunities.

Europe’s largest solar rooftop in Győr produces 9.5 gigawatt hours of energy per year

The Győr location, which recently became the second CO2-neutral Audi site, has been taking advantage of the geographic conditions since 2012 and covers around 70 percent of its heat requirement by geothermal energy – making Audi Hungaria the major user of industrial geothermal energy in Hungary. The remaining 30 percent of required heat is generated by natural gas, the CO2 neutrality of which is ensured by biogas certificates.

Upon commissioning the 160,000 square meter rooftop photovoltaic system – the largest one of its kind in Europe – Audi’s Győr location has achieved a carbon-neutral footprint, too. The 36,400 solar cells in an area roughly the size of 22 football pitches produce 9.5 gigawatt hours of energy per year and thus save 4,900 metric tons of CO2.

 “We’re continuously working on improving the environmental footprint of our sites and on achieving CO2 neutrality on the environmental balance sheet at all Audi locations by 2025,” says Rüdiger Recknagel, Chief Environmental Officer for the Audi Group. “At this juncture, we have already implemented actions at our remaining locations, Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and San José Chiapa, Mexico, which avoid between 70 and 75 percent of the CO2 emissions that would otherwise be generated.”

Eco-friendly logistics using climate-neutral rail transportation and LNG trucks

Outside the factory gates, Audi has been engaged in environmentally compatible practices for a long time. For instance, since 2010, the premium manufacturer has been using eco-friendly rail transportation for its automobile shipments. The so-called “Green Train” has been traveling from Ingolstadt to the North Sea lading port of Emden ever since. In 2012, the connection from Audi’s Neckarsulm location to Emden was converted to “green trains” as well.

Since 2017, rail-bound logistics have been handled in a largely climate-neutral way with Deutsche Bahn. By switching to DB Cargo’s “DBeco plus” product, the company saves more than 13,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. By now, Audi Hungaria has achieved CO2 neutrality in rail-bound transportation of components, engines and cars with DB Cargo as well. Plus, Audi has been compensating for carbon emissions on foreign travel segments in Hungary and Belgium since 2019, too.

At the Ingolstadt location, two hybrid locomotives are used, and a rail-bound tractor with an electric motor plus a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) volume tractor for shunting operations at the Neckarsulm location. Where rail-bound shipments are not possible, climate-friendly alternatives are used as well.

Since recently, parts of Audi’s logistics requirements at the Neckarsulm location have been handled by two trucks with eco-conscious LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) engines – resulting in CO2 savings of up to 20 percent and nitrogen oxide reductions of 85 percent compared to diesel-powered trucks.

A third LNG truck will be added at the end of this year. At the Brussels location, LNG trucks have been in use since 2018, too. LNG is a forward-thinking alternative fuel: In the coming years, it is supposed to be available strictly as a bio-based fuel, which makes it possible to save 90 percent CO2 per shipment compared to diesel engines.

Suppliers and Audi jointly identify significant CO2 reduction potential

Careful and prudent use of resources saves material and reduces the consumption of energy that would otherwise be needed for the production of new materials. Thus, CO2 savings are a consequence of resource efficiency. “Efficient handling of resources is an important key to reducing our CO2 emissions during the manufacturing stage,” says Marco Philippi, Senior Director Procurement Strategy.

“That is why we are pursuing a hot spot-based approach and specifically target areas in which manufacturing is especially energy-intensive or requires large amounts of material.” Due to the transition toward electric mobility, the proportion of CO₂ emissions attributable to the supply chain increases because the battery production process in particular is CO2 intensive. At Audi, nearly a fourth of all CO2 emissions are anticipated to occur here by 2025, based on the forecast fleet average.

Therefore, Audi, together with its suppliers, is especially addressing actions that are effective in this early manufacturing stage. As early as in 2018, the company initiated a CO2 program in the supply chain in order to identify actions for further CO2 reductions jointly with its suppliers.

Opportunities exist primarily in closed material loops, the progressive increase of secondary material use, the utilization of materials from recycling processes, i.e. so-called recyclates, in plastic components and in the utilization of green electricity. The implementation of these actions is planned to be fully effective by 2025, too, and has an average CO2 reduction potential of 1.2 metric tons per car.

Audi avoids CO2 emissions by “Aluminium Closed Loop” recycling concept

Three examples illustrate this reduction potential: With the rollout of the “Aluminium Closed Loop” in Audi’s stamping plants, the carbon footprint just in 2019 was reduced by 150,000 metric tons. Audi is a pioneer in lightweight design and has been using aluminum since the 1990s. The utilization of secondary aluminum saves up to 95 percent energy compared to the use of primary aluminum.

The Aluminium Closed Loop has currently been implemented in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, to be followed by the Győr plant starting in 2021. At the moment, secondary aluminum content has been integrated in parts of the Audi A3, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8 bodies, plus in parts of the Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback. Beginning at the end of 2020, secondary aluminum will also be used in the Audi e-tron GT being produced at the Neckarsulm location. Additional model ranges and locations are planned to follow.

Audi launches pilot project for chemical recycling of plastics

The second example is a pilot project initiated by Audi. In collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), the two partners are working on a method for chemical recycling of automotive plastics.

This method will make it possible to recycle mixed plastics, which are used in automotive engineering due to exacting safety, heat resistance and quality requirements, into so-called pyrolysis oil which, in turn, can be used for the production of plastic automotive components. Going forward, this technology may become an eco-friendly alternative to mechanical recycling.

IN-Campus as a perfect example of resource efficiency

Another case in point for exemplary resource efficiency is the IN-Campus. In a joint venture with the city of Ingolstadt, AUDI AG is rehabilitating the former complex of the Bayernoil refinery. Instead of sealing new “greenfield” areas for commercial use, the two partners are rehabilitating the former refinery in compliance with environmental requirements and eliminating the damage caused by the previous utilization, employing state-of-the-art technologies.

With an area of 75 hectares, the IN-Campus is one of the largest rehabilitation projects in Germany. 15 hectares of the total area are intended to become a compensation area for nature. The project is planned to be completed by 2022. “We are proud of performing the first full rehabilitation of a refinery complex in Bavaria with this eco-conscious rehab project. In doing so, we are giving something back to both society and nature.

This, too, is resource efficiency – focused, in this case, on space as a resource,” Recknagel explains. Future construction at the site is supposed to comply with high sustainability requirements. The IN-Campus in Ingolstadt has already been successfully recognized with the DGNB Sustainability Label for Business Districts.

In the future, the Car.Software organization of the Volkswagen Group will have one of its German sites here as well. The software unit develops a standardized software architecture for all the brands in the Group as well as a digital eco-system and customer-focused functions in retail.

*including the vehicles locally produced in China by the related company, FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Company, Ltd., Changchun (China)

Sabrina Kolb - photos Audi


23.11.2020 / MaP

More News

Hyundai Motor Company and INEOS to Cooperate on Driving Hydrogen Economy Forward
•    Hyundai and INEOS signed a memorandum of understanding to explore together new opportunities in the hydrogen economy •    Opportunities include production and supply of hydrogen as well as new hydrogen applications, technologies and business models •    The tw more >>
Audi and KIT are working on recycling method for automotive plastics
   Pilot project launched: chemical recycling is to enable a closed loop for plastics from automotive engineering        Repurposing: recycled plastics waste is processed into pyrolysis oil, which can subsequently be used for new components        Marco Philippi, Senior Director Procure more >>
Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy - Key Technologies
To become climate-neutral by 2050, the EU needs to further develop reliable and efficient sources of renewable energy.Most of our renewable energy is currently produced on land. However, there are also a range of technologies for renewable energy production at sea with considerable potential for further development.There are opportuniti more >>
Boosting Offshore Renewable Energy for a Climate Neutral Europe
To help meet the EU's goal of climate neutrality by 2050, the European Commission today presents the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy.   The Strategy proposes to increase Europe's offshore wind capacity from its current level of 12 GW to more >>
BMW Group paves the way for production network of the future
Systematic transformation towards electromobility -  Investment of 400 million euros in new assembly for plant in Munich -  Fixed costs reduced by 500 million euros -  New cluster vehicle architecture from mid-decade on -  Smart management of plant capacity strengthens competitiveness more >>
New photovoltaic system for SKODA AUTO Service Centre in Kosmonosy
› Almost 25 per cent of the electricity required at ŠKODA AUTO’s Service and Training Centre will be covered by CO2-neutral energy› Energy is stored in batteries and can be retrieved at any time; the system’s maximum power output has been rated at 441 kWp (kilowatts peak)› Investments amount to 30 million Czech more >>
Tackling Africa’s energy crisis
With many African countries struggling to keep up with the energy consumption demands of its citizens, the argument for a move away from unreliable coal-fired power stations has never been greater.   more >>
Mercedes-Benz will in future only source battery cells with cobalt & lithium from certified mining sites
... while significantly reducing cobalt    Mercedes-Benz AG is fulfilling its responsibility as part of the sustainability offensive and is relying on sustainable supply chains for its electric vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of hu more >>
MITSUBISHI MOTORS New Environmental Plan Seeks 40% CO2 Emissions Reduction and 50% Ratio of Electric Vehicles by 2030
MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION (MMC) has formulated a new Environmental Plan for the next 30 years. To contribute to realizing a society with net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2050, the company aims for 40 percent reduction in the CO2 emissions from its new cars and business activities, and raising the proportion of electric vehicles in the total sales to 50 percent by 2030. more >>
Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG sign binding agreement for new fuel−cell joint venture
Joint venture for large−scale production of fuel−cells     The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG have now a signed binding agreement for a joint venture to develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for more >>
Volvo Cars and Polestar to overachieve on 2020 EU CO2 emissions target
  Volvo Cars and its strategic affiliate Polestar can confirm that they will reduce fleet emissions beyond their joint CO2 target for 2020 as defined by the regulations set by the European Commission, adding further credibility to both co more >>
EAV presents new "EAV Taxi" as complete super-efficient environmental solution to urban ride hail
EAV forecasts that the new EAV Taxi could reduce urban taxis and private hire vehicle traffic congestion by over 50% in next 5 years Electric Assisted Vehicles, the Oxfordshire-based micro-mobility manufacturer, has today revealed the latest more >>
3-star FIA status: HWA AG, top-class for environmental issues
HWA AG is renowned for delivering top performance in everything it does - including in the area of sustainability. The HWA AG not only meets the most exacting demands of motorsport and engineering, but also when it comes to implementing environmental standards and sustainability criteria. more >>
RENAULT EWAYS: The Group presents two major new energy storage projects
    On the occasion of Renault eWays, a new event dedicated to zero-carbon mobility, Groupe Renault presents new concrete solutions for energy management:    Commissioning of the first Advanced Battery Storage (ABS) in Douai,    SmartHubs project with Connected Energy in West Sussex (UK). more >>
Ford Wildlife Foundation-Supported Project Receives Coveted Eco Award
•    The Ford Wildlife Foundation (FWF) supports the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) with a locally-built Ford Ranger•    WESSA’s Green Coast Project takes top honours in Eco-Logic Awards Biodiversity category•    Ford Wildlife Foundation is committed to preserving So more >>
Bronco Wild Fund to Support Outdoor Preservation, Public Access, Starting with National Forest Foundation and Outward Bound USA
    Ford is establishing Bronco Wild Fund, fulfilling its promise to help off-road enthusiasts enjoy the wilderness responsibly through preservation, education and access programs funded by a portion of the proceeds from every Bronco sold & more >>
BMW Group UK second-life battery solution in partnership with Off Grid Energy.
• Retired BMW and MINI batteries will have second-use as mobile power units adapted and produced by Off Grid Energy. • First prototype power unit up and running, powered by MINI Electric battery modules. • BMW Group will have 25 electrified models on the roads by 2023 – half of them fully electric. more >>
Green power deal supercharges Lotus net-zero ambitions
British Gas Business and Lotus agree new green energy supply deal – the first step in a partnership announced with Centrica to decarbonise the legendary sports car makerLotus and British Gas Business have embarked on a new green electricity dea more >>
Redefining the solar power market in Africa
Solar power capacity and energy generation has seen a rapid increase over the last decade, becoming the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the world. Thanks to technological advances, a sharp decline in costs, improved policies and growing concerns over climate change, renewable energy has been placed front and center on both the public and private agendas. more >>
Audi Hungaria is the second carbon-neutral Audi site
   Official commissioning of Europe’s biggest photovoltaic roof installation in Győr        Audi board member for production, Peter Kössler: “By 2025 all Audi sites will have a neutral carbon balance”        Alfons Dintner, CEO of Audi Hungaria: “A symb more >>
Toyota Motor Europe’s fuel cell module brings hydrogen to the wider maritime industry
  Toyota fuel cell module already successfully tested aboard the Energy Observer boat (EO) over more than 7,000 nautical miles, including trans-Atlantic crossings     Toyota fuel cell technology integrated more >>
Suzuki Motor Corporation develops the World's first micro-plastic collecting device for outboard motors
Outboard motor installed with Micro-Plastic Collecting DeviceSuzuki Motor Corporation is continually seeking to develop innovative solutions to environmental issues associated with the manufacturing of autom more >>
Honda Reports on its Environmental Performance in North America
      Honda's U.S. fleet-average fuel economy is 14% better than industry average    Manufacturing plants reduced total waste to lowest levels in six years    CO2e emission from service parts shipments is lowest more >>
Renault eWays, the challenge towards zero emissions
    Renault eWays, a unique event dedicated to the electric mobility of today and tomorrow.    From 15 to 26 October 2020, Groupe Renault invites you to share its vision of mobility and discover two world premieres that are more >>
FCA What's Behind - Supply Chain Management
FCA season 2 – episode 3: •    Episode 3 looks ‘behind the scenes’ of logistics, explaining what the FCA Supply Chain mechanism consists of and how it works. more >>
Toyota Motor Europe integrates its Fuel Cell Technology into Energy Observer Developments’ Hydrogen Power Generator
    Toyota Motor Europe (TME) integrates its fuel cell module into a new Hydrogen application by Energy Observer Developments (EODev)       The project is part of TME’s wider strategy to supply fuel cell t more >>
PwC commits to net zero by 2030, globally
    PwC commits to decarbonise its operations and supply chain, which includes reshaping how it serves clients, sustained reductions in travel and the increased use of zero carbon energy.    PwC will embed the implications of climate change and other Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) related factors across the work it does w more >>
In depth: Audi and Climeworks store CO2 from the atmosphere underground
   Climeworks is building the world’s largest direct air capture and storage facility in Iceland        4,000 metric tons of CO2 will be stored as rock underground each year        Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at AUDI AG: “Important measure for reachin more >>
The most sustainable big city in Germany
At the start of 2020, Osnabrück was awarded the title of most sustainable city in Germany. One of the reasons for this was the advanced mobility and logistics solutions offered by this city of 165,000 residents, which mean it can serve as a model for other cities. Three innovative examples from Osnabrück. more >>
Mercedes-Benz and Amazon jointly advocate climate protection and bring locally emission-free mobility to the streets
Mercedes-Benz AG joins "The Climate Pledge" – a commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism    Objective of the commitment: carbon neutrality of all signatory companies ten years before the target set in the Paris Agreement    Mercedes-Benz supports this goal with "Ambition2039" more >>
Audi Environmental Foundation supports Nunam - cells from old laptop batteries become mobile power banks
   Nunam, a German-Indian start-up, manufactures stationary energy storage systems from discarded batteries and produces power sources for Indian merchants        Rüdiger Recknagel, Managing Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation: “Effective cycles are an important lever for conserving resources” &n more >>
Plug-In Ford Transit custom hybrid introduces automatic electric mode to support cleaner city air
    Live location data and geofence module automatically switches Transit Custom hybrid to electric drive mode in low-emission zones    Over 500 UK orders for Transit Custom hybrid received within months of becoming eligible for Plug-in Van Grant, contributing up to £8,000    Transit Custom hybrid on more >>
From raw material to recycling: BMW Group develops sustainable material cycle for battery cells
- Development of innovative and recyclable battery cells - Near-standard production of battery cell prototypes at new pilot plant - Commissioning planned for late 2022 Sustainability plays a central rol more >>
UNCTAD  - Growing plastic pollution in wake of COVID-19: how trade policy can help
The pandemic has led to a surge in pollution from disposable products like plastic face masks and hand sanitizer bottles. Effective trade rules can help limit the spread of coronavirus waste.Coronavirus lockdowns around the more >>
BMW Group makes sustainability and efficient resource management central to its strategic direction
No premium without responsibility: The BMW Group is making sustainability and resource efficiency central to the company’s strategic direction. Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse announced initial details of this strategic direction in Munich today and presented the targets the company has set itself for the phase up to 2030. more >>
BMW and Circular economy for responsible resource management
Alongside lowering CO2 emissions, resource management also plays a central role in the BMW Group's business model: For instance, electromobility cannot rely solely on primary materials in the long term. The underlying flow of resources needs more >>
French town Appy goes 100% electric with a new Renault Zoe for all residents
    Renault has enabled an entire town in France to go electric with a New ZOE for all of its residents       It’s the first time a settlement has been occupied by residents exclusively driving electri more >>
DRC Offers the World an Immediate Climate Solution
Everland launches inaugural webinar, Everland Presents: REDD+, A Force of Nature presenting the pioneering Wildlife Works Mai Ndombe REDD+ Project.Everland, the exclusive representative of the largest portfolio of high-impact, fo more >>
Daimler Truck AG is working intensively to prepare series production of fuel cell
    Experts at the Stuttgart site are developing new, state-of-the-art production facilities as the technological template for subsequent series production.       Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board more >>
2001-2023 copyright