Volkswagen India Private Limited announced the achievements of the ‘Think Blue. Factory’. initiatives at its plant in Chakan, near Pune which aims at environmental sustainability – a global target set by Volkswagen.
The project, which was globally announced in 2011 and implemented in Pune Plant from 2012, focuses on reducing the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants across the world by 25 percent by 2018 based on 2010 values. This applies especially to energy consumption, water consumption, waste generation, air-borne emissions including carbon dioxide emissions.
Mahesh Kodumudi, President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India said: “The strategic goal for the Volkswagen Group is the economic and environmental leadership in the global automotive industry by 2018. The ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ initiatives are a key to achieving the goals. With the ‘Think Blue. Factory,’ initiatives we aim to reduce the impact on the environment by 25 percent by 2018″.
Successful achievements in 2012
Volkswagen undertook several actions at its Pune Plant from 2012 as a part of “Think Blue. Factory.” initiatives. Through these actions, Volkswagen Pune Plant achieved a reduction of 6.4 percent in specific CO2 emissions and 5.5 percent in specific energy consumption in 2012 as compared to 2011. The prime initiatives leading to this reduction included optimising on/off timings of equipments, replacing high energy consumption lights with low energy consumption lights and reduction of electric lights by utilising natural lighting in various areas of the plant.
Andreas Lauenroth, Executive Director Technical, VW India; Mahesh Kodumudi, President and Managing Director, VW India and Wolfgang Holmann, Director of Manufacturing Engineering & Planning Department, VW India at the inauguration the Biogas plan.
The biggest achievement for Volkswagen India is the specific energy consumption at its Pune Plant that has now been reduced to 1.016 MWh/car which happens to be the best amongst the Volkswagen plants worldwide. The energy saving achievements were also recognised with a global Volkswagen Energy Award in 2012.
Andreas Lauenroth, Executive Director Technical, Volkswagen India Private Limited said: “With the ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ initiatives, we want to set benchmarks in sustainable automotive production in India. ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ is a holistic approach which motivates our employees to implement the ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ ideas not only in the plant but also in their personal lifestyle”.
Biogas Plant Inauguration
One of the next steps towards achieving the targets of the ‘Think Blue. Factory’. initiatives is the inauguration of a Biogas Plant in the premises of the Volkswagen Pune Plant. Monthly biological waste of approximately 10 tons will be fed to the highly automated and modern Biogas Plant which will recycle the waste to produce cooking gas. This ecologically produced gas will be supplied back to the Central Kitchen for cooking processes.
Wolfgang Holmann, Director of Planning and Manufacturing Engineering, Volkswagen India Private Limited, commented on the occasion of inauguration of the Biogas Plant, “We have found a smart solution to disposing off the biological waste in an ecological way and have created a sustainable micro-cycle. We will be able to achieve a reduction of over 100 tons of waste per year with the Biogas Plant and an annual reduction of CO2 emission by 18 tons.”
2013: The year of water saving at Volkswagen Pune Plant
The focus for 2013 would be on reducing the consumption of fresh water at the Volkswagen Pune Plant by over ten percent. Scarcity of water is a major problem and the conservation of fresh water is the need of the hour. The main initiative to achieve this target is by recycling industrial waste water and to reuse it in production processes. Another effective measure for reducing consumption of fresh water is by providing special faucets to water taps that reduce the flow of water by 75%. “We expect a reduction of over 19,800 m3/year of consumption of water through this measure when all the washrooms and wash basin taps in the plant would be fitted with these faucets. To give a perspective, this would equal the water consumption of approximately 100 households for a year”, Mr. Lauenroth added.
Reduction in consumption of energy and emission of CO2 will also continue to be in focus. Volkswagen Pune Plant is further reducing energy consumption and working on projects for using energy from renewable sources like hydro power through open access in the near future.
An ever-growing project deeply connected with all the employees
‘Think Blue. Factory.’ is a holistic project with a long-term commitment that includes the involvement of one and all. With this project, Volkswagen India is adopting ecological processes and also appealing to its employees to work towards sustainable and environmental friendly behavior not only at work but also in the individual lifestyles. ‘Think Blue’ embodies Volkswagen’s goal of creating environmentally friendly products and solutions, encouraging more eco-conscious behaviour and contributing to a sustainable future. It’s about being more responsible on the road and more environmentally conscious – not just in our cars, but everywhere, every day. ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ is an addition to the Volkswagen ‘Think Blue’. portfolio including key measures in the area of vehicle production. The program, which is concerned with efficiency improvements in production and the expansion of environmentally aware energy supplies, addresses all employees at the plants.
Andreas Lauenroth, Executive Director Technical, VW India; Mahesh Kodumudi, President and Managing Director, VW India and Wolfgang Holmann, Director of Manufacturing Engineering & Planning Department, VW India with the ‘Think Blue’ team.
With its headquarters in Pune, Maharashtra, the Volkswagen Group is represented by five brands in India: Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, ŠKODA, and Volkswagen. The Volkswagen Group has been present in India for the last 12 years and began its India journey with the entry of the ŠKODA brand in 2001, Audi brand and Volkswagen brand in 2007, Porsche brand and Lamborghini brand in 2012. Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity in the market.
Volkswagen Group India has over 25 models in India and 230 dealerships and is operating through two plants – Pune and Aurangabad. The Pune plant has a manufacturing capacity of 1,30,000 cars per year and is currently manufacturing Volkswagen Polo and Vento and ŠKODA Fabia and Rapid. The Aurangabad plant caters to various premium and luxury models of Audi, ŠKODA and Volkswagen sold in India and has an annual capacity of approximately 89,000. Volkswagen Group India is a part of Volkswagen AG, which is globally represented by 12 brands – Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge), MAN and Volkswagen Passenger Cars.