Audi on the road toward CO2-neutral production sites
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.