Volkswagen achieves impressive results in sustainable eco-friendly manufacturing at its Pune Plant

In its efforts to reduce the impact on environment due to manufacturing at its Pune Plant, Volkswagen India has shown impressive results. The plant has been working towards eco-friendly manufacturing since 2012 and has achieved a combined result of reducing the impact on environment by 31.1% per car produced.

The ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ programme of the group measures impact of manufacturing on environment in five key areas: energy consumption, CO2 emissions, water consumption, waste generation & solvent emissions and aims at achieving a reduction of 45% by 2025.

The company aims to produce cars in an environment-friendly manner and will continue its endeavour in this direction towards achieving its 2025 goal.

The specific results (reduction per car produced) at the Volkswagen Pune Plant by the end of 2017 as compared to the base values from 2011 are as below:

  • Energy consumption reduced by 30.8%
  • CO2 emissions reduced by 31.7%
  • Water consumption reduced by 46.9%
  • Waste generation reduced by 39.4%
  • Solvent emissions reduced by 6.8%

Several measures in all areas of production as well as offices have been implemented, including one, where heat is recovered from exhaust gases. The exhaust gases from primer oven in the paint shop are tapped and the energy from these gases is used to heat ambient air supplied to the air supply unit in the paint booth. A classic case of recycling energy that is otherwise lost.

Other measures adopted at the plant in 2017 include optimisation of lighting consumption in the paint shop, replacing tube lights with low consumption LED lights, replacing old equipment with low-consumption modern equipment and adopting energy-efficient production processes.

A biogas plant for food waste generated in the canteens, Single Stage Base Coat Application during painting process for reducing solvent emissions, installation of High Volume Low Speed fans and optimisation of electrical equipment operations for lower energy consumption, replacement of water faucets with more efficient ones and reuse of waste water in the production processes to reduce plant’s water consumption are some of the other initiatives that have been implemented.

Volkswagen has also established a global knowledge-sharing platform wherein each plant shares its best practices with other plants. This helps every factory to innovate ways of eco-friendly manufacturing and also use the knowledge from others.

The Volkswagen Pune Plant has lined up projects for 2018 to make it even more efficient in terms of effects on environment. Several ideas are under evaluation for implementation all the way till 2025 which will eventually help the company in achieving the ultimate goal of 45% reduction.

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