November 25, 2020, Singapore – Audi AG intends to contribute its share to achieving the Paris climate goals by reaching carbon neutrality on the environmental balance sheet by 2050.
The company has initiated a large number of actions along the entire value chain to support the vision. All actions to reduce the environmental footprint in manufacturing and logistics are concentrated in the environmental programme 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 programme, 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 material such as aluminum, steel and battery components.
Audi produced about 1.8 million cars around the world 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 utilisation phase. However, along with the growing proportion of electrified vehicles, these emissions increasingly shift to the manufacturing phase. 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,” said its member of board of management for production and logistics Peter Kossler in a statement.
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 production lifecycle. Compared to manufacturing of less complex goods, the technologically sophisticated and energy-intensive production of vehicles poses an enormous challenge in terms of decarbonisation. Audi has already reached two milestones in ‘clean’ production. The company was awarded the certificate for Co2-neutral production back in 2018, when the Audi e-tron model range was produced in Brussels.
Some of the key actions to achieve climate-neutral production include conversion to green electricity and installation of large photovoltaics system (107,000 sq metres), heat supply to the site using renewable energies covered by certificates of biogas, and compensation for currently unavoidable emissions by certified carbon credit projects. These three pillars – accompanied by other measures – provide the blueprint for decarbonising the other sites as well, albeit with differences in the relevant regional opportunities.
On top of that, Audi has also managed to decarbonise with initiatives like harvesting natural energy from the sun, using eco-friendly logistics like climate-neutral rail transportation and LNG trucks, joint initiatives with supplies to identify places where they can help reduce CO2, using ‘Aluminium Closed Loop’ in its stamping plants, chemical recycling of plastics, and many more.