Volkswagen Pune Plant is one of the 27 Volkswagen production facilities worldwide which follow the ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ initiative. This initiative aims to reduce the impact on environment due to manufacturing processes by 25% per car globally. Since 2012, the facility in Chakan has been contributing to this worldwide initiative with fruitful results.
Through the ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ initiative, Volkswagen India continued implementing measures in 2013 to cut down the impact on environment caused by its manufacturing processes after a successful start in 2012. The results of these measures are being gauged on five factors – energy consumption, CO2 emissions, water consumption, waste generation and VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions. Volkswagen India has shown tremendous progress in four out of the five defined measurable areas in the last year.
Achievements in detail:
Specific Waste Generation: – 21.8%
Amongst the five key measurable areas, maximum reduction has been achieved in waste generation. As compared to 2012, the Volkswagen Pune Plant has been able to reduce specific waste generation by 21.8% (8.4 kg/car in 2012 to 6.57 kg/car in 2013). One of the main measures contributing to this reduction was the recycling of paint sludge. This reduction was achieved by cutting down the moisture content from paint sludge through centrifuge and further recycling the paint sludge to produce primer as a by-product. This initiative was honoured with the ‘Think Blue. Factory.’ Award for Greatest Progress in Waste Reduction by Volkswagen AG.
Specific Water Consumption: – 17.4%
Remarkable progress was also noted in the area of fresh water consumption at the Volkswagen Pune Plant. From utilising 5.4 M3/car to 4.46 M3/car, there was a total reduction of 14.8% in consumption of fresh water during the production process of each car. The water saving measures include optimised flow of water through special faucets and reuse of water for various processes.
Specific Energy Consumption & CO2Emissions: – 10.8% & – 10% respectively
Along with the positive reduction in waste generation and water consumption, Volkswagen India made successful progress in areas of energy consumption and thus, effectively reduced the CO2 emissions. From utilising 1,016 KWh energy per car, the consumption was brought down to 914 KWh energy per car through actions such as optimising the usage of electricity throughout the plant and arresting compressed air leakages. With lesser energy being consumed, there was also a direct reduction in CO2 emissions.
Specific VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions: The Way Forward
The fifth defined area for reducing the impact on environment is through reduction of VOC emissions. A number of measures have been chalked out to cut down these VOC emissions in the coming years. Through pilot projects, results from these measures will be calculated and the best practices will be implemented to curb VOC emissions too.