The world's first certified CO2-neutral high-volume production plant in the premium segment will shortly begin production of the first fully electric series production Audi. Audi Brussels has been awarded a "CO2-neutral site" certificate by the Belgian testing company Vinçotte. The site covers all production processes and all other emissions generated at the plant either by renewable energies (approximately 95 percent) or compensates for them with environmental projects (approximately 5 percent).
Audi Brussels will start production of the first all-electric series-produced model from the Four Rings before the end of this year. It makes a statement with a range suitable for everyday use and with innovative, digital technology on board. Audi pursues a holistic approach with regard to sustainable premium mobility. For this reason, the company attaches great importance to the resource-conserving production of its electric SUV. Right from the start of production, Audi Brussels will produce the series version of the Audi e-tron prototype with a CO2-neutral impact on the environment.
“At the same time, our first electric car is also the first car in our core competition that is completely climate-neutral in production. We avoid any waste,” stated Peter Kössler, Member of the Board of Management for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG. “In addition, we are working hard to make all our factories in the Group even more sustainable. We intend to gradually supply our plants with green electricity. And last year, we were the first company in Germany to make all domestic rail transport climate-neutral.”
The Belgian site has three main pillars. The first pillar is changing over to green electricity. This was already done at the site in 2012. On a total area of 37,000 square metres, the roofs of the plant buildings also have the largest photovoltaic system in the region. In this way, the company saves around 17,000 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to the consumption of around 1,500 people. “As the first plant in the Audi Group purely for electric cars, sustainable and environmentally friendly production is particularly important to us,” said Patrick Danau, Managing Director of Audi Brussels. “We see this as an obligation to society that pays off for all sides.”
The second pillar is the supply of heat at the site using renewable energies, also for heating the offices. The plant covers this heat requirement with certificates for biogas. Audi Brussels prevents CO2 emissions of up to 40,000 tons each year through renewable energies. Pillars one and two thus account for more than 95 percent of overall energy needs.
Audi Brussels offsets further emissions that cannot currently be avoided through renewable energy sources by means of carbon credit projects (the third pillar). These include, for example, emissions caused by company cars. “In 2014, we were the first premium manufacturer to measure our CO2 footprint and have it certified. Since then, we have been working steadily to reduce it further,” stated Rüdiger Recknagel, Head of Environmental Protection at AUDI AG. “We are also installing new technologies at all our plants to reduce water consumption, prevent air pollution and improve recycling.”