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Insight

Acting Green and Thinking Blue

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 10:29

Apart from the ongoing competition between automotive companies to be the largest producer with the best technology, another fundamental aspect driving innovation among the key players is sustainable practices. With that in mind, Volkswagen has established clear goals through its Think Blue. concept. This initiative was launched in 2010 with the objective of making Volkswagen the most ecologically sustainable car manufacturer in the world by 2018. To do so, every one of its plants must reduce its environmental impact by 25% throughout its entire operation, meaning water and energy consumption, waste generation, and greenhouse emissions.

As part of this initiative, Volkswagen de México signed an agreement with Mexico Power Group for the annual supply of 290 GWh of renewable energy, generated at the wind farm currently being built at La Bufa, Zacatecas. When in full operation, this park will have a total installed capacity of 180MW, 130MW of which will be used for Volkswagen plants, covering 60% of the electricity consumption at the plants in Puebla and Silao. Furthermore, Andreas Hinrichs, President of Volkswagen de México, stated that this project shows the brand’s commitment to the implementation of more productive and efficient eco-friendly processes. This arrangement will prevent the emission of close to 140,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Volkswagen has also gained a lot of recognition thanks to its new program, Por Amor al Planeta. Since 2006, Por Amor al Planeta has supported academic research directed to environmental and conservation strategies within Mexico. This is the biggest project of its kind in Latin America, and includes the Izta-Popo program in Puebla and the Sierra Lobos project in Guanajuato. Izta-Popo’s objective is to protect the groundwater in the Sierra Nevada through the reforestation of 750 hectares, the conservation of the indigenous fauna, and erosion prevention activities in the region. On the other hand, the Sierra Lobos program focuses on restoring 114 hectares of land, ensuring filtering of more than 68,000m3 of water in the region. These strategies are also communicated to every worker in the plant, promoting a strong connection between employees and a better understanding of how these initiatives impact the environment, and ultimately Volkswagen’s operations.