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More than 350 employees from 21 Volkswagen manufacturing plants met in Wolfsburg, Germany, to discuss the campaign to make the global automaker more green – or, actually, the eco color that Volkswagen calls "blue." At the "Think Blue. Factory." annual meeting, details were presented on how all Volkswagen brand plants are reducing energy and water consumption and wastewater production, along with reducing CO2 emissions per vehicle by 25 percent by 2018.

Volkswagen plants were honored for achieving the best solutions for reducing energy consumption, and for meeting two major corporate goals for production: more sustainability and less environmental impact. In the "lowest base load" category, the Energy Efficiency Award for lowest energy consumption was awarded to the Pamplona, Spain and Polkowice, Poland plants. In the "best performance" category recognizing highest reduction in energy consumption compared to the previous year, the award went to plants in Polkowice, Poland and Pune, India, as well as the plastic parts production unit at the Wolfsburg plant.

Presentations were made by executives on results achieved at German plants. The Kassel plant installed an energy-efficient internal lining for hardening surfaces in component production. The Brunswick components plant described how its plastics technology used an innovative high-temperature filter. Emden reported on the world's largest geothermal energy facility located directly on the North Sea coast.

Volkswagen started the "Think Blue" campaign in 2010 to show that "Environmental protection is the top priority for Volkswagen." The blue/green theme has also been deployed by German competitor Mercedes through its high-performance, fuel-efficient Bluetec product lineup. BMW is committed to sustainability through electric drive and corporate environmental responsibility measures. Japanese and US automakers are also investing in green technology for plant efficiency, alternative powertrains and high-mileage vehicles.

In an era of increasing global competition, national fuel economy and emissions standards, rising fuel prices and consumer interest in sustainability, you can expect to see similar campaigns from more automakers. It's becoming more commonplace as part of their brand identification.
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More sustainability – less environmental impact
"Think Blue. Factory." annual meeting with 350 energy and environmental experts in Wolfsburg
Volkswagen honors its most resource-efficient plants with the "Energy Efficiency Award 2012"


Wolfsburg, 09 November 2012 - Today, more than 350 energy experts from 21 Volkswagen plants met in Wolfsburg for the 2012 "Think Blue. Factory." annual meeting. They discussed the progress achieved to date in the implementation of the program and agreed on the next milestones for their joint efforts. In December 2011, the plants of the Volkswagen brand had agreed to reduce energy and water consumption as well as wastewater production and CO2 emissions per vehicle by 25% by 2018. The program announced for all Volkswagen brand plants throughout the world is entitled "Think Blue. Factory."

Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Production and Logistics: "'Think Blue. Factory.' is a holistic approach that pools all the environmental activities of the Volkswagen brand plants. In brief, we have set two major goals for production: more sustainability – less environmental impact. Each plant has therefore produced an individual, tailor-made development path for achieving our targets by 2018."

At the 2012 "Think Blue. Factory." annual meeting, Volkswagen honored the best solutions for reducing energy consumption at Volkswagen production plants. In the category "lowest base load", the Energy Efficiency Award for the lowest energy consumption was awarded to the Pamplona, Spain and Polkowice, Poland plants. In the category "best performance", i.e. highest reduction in energy consumption compared with the previous year's value, the award went to the plants in Polkowice, Poland, and Pune, India, as well as the plastic parts production unit at the Wolfsburg plant.

The special personal commitment of the Volkswagen team was also honored. Employees from the Brunswick, Hanover and Wolfsburg plants were presented with the "2012 Employees' Award" by the Group Works Council for special ideas in the area of energy saving at the workplace.

Prof. Dr. Werner Neubauer, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for Components: "The topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important in global competition. 'Think Blue. Factory.' is a plan of action for all our plants that is based on interchange between experts. However, the key to success in a genuine 'Think Blue. Factory.' is the everyday personal commitment of our employees throughout the world."

In a large number of presentations, experts from the Volkswagen plants reported on measures that had been successfully implemented to reduce the use of resources. The most innovative solutions from each plant were clearly presented in a theme park. For example, the Kassel plant reported on an energy-efficient internal lining for hardening furnaces in component production. The components plant at Brunswick presented an innovative high-temperature filter in the field of plastics technology and the Emden plant reported on the world's largest geothermal energy facility located directly on the North Sea coast. All in all, 21 energy and environmental departments from the various Volkswagen plants highlighted examples from their everyday work.

As the key topic for next year, "Think Blue. Factory." will be focusing on the systematic reduction of production waste. Aspects relevant for the implementation of the plans were outlined on the basis of a "2013 waste toolkit".