Audi AG Ingolstadt Plant – Environmental Protection
Environmentally compatible production is a corporate goal for Audi and high emphasis is placed throughout the company on putting this into practice at individual production sites.
So that the goal of environmental protection does not remain a paper tiger, Audi is a voluntary member of the European Community system based on the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme EMAS II which demands further requirements of environmental management than those laid down in current environmental regulations.
In 2000, the Ingolstadt plant in addition received accreditation according to the international standard ISO 14001. According to the requirements of this standard, the environmental management system has to be examined by an external inspector every year.
In 2006 too, a successful revalidation audit in accordance with the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and simultaneous recertification according to the IS0 14001:2001 standard officially confirmed that Audi has a smoothly functioning environmental management system in place.
The crux of Audis environmental policy is not only the conservation of resources and minimising pollution: open communication and the integration of all employees into the companys environmental protection strategy ensure the permanent attainment of environmental goals. To this end, the Audi Production System (APS) has been used intensively during recent years to implement numerous environmental aspects and Audis environmental policy at all levels including the assembly line.
In order to save water, Audi is increasingly using rainwater at its Ingolstadt plant. For this purpose, rainfall is collected in underground cisterns from an area covering almost 450,000 square metres. In 2006, a further rain retention tank with a capacity of 2,900 cubic metres was completed, taking the total number of such tanks to five, with an overall volume of more than 13,000 cubic metres. Rainwater gathered in this way is processed in the internal pre-treatment facility and fed into the production water network, thus replacing valuable drinking water. After a volume of 185,000 cubic metres in 2005, the amount of rainwater used at the Ingolstadt plant in 2006 totalled 142,000 cubic metres due to construction measures. It is anticipated that the quantities of rainwater used will increase in the coming years.
When a car is being manufactured, the painting process has particular significance as far as the environment is concerned. The Ingolstadt paint shop, which was commissioned in 1998, employs state-of-the-art environmental protection technologies and painting processes that are subject to continuous improvement. For instance, water-based paints, which contain only a small percentage of organic solvents, are used in all painting processes with the exception of the clear coat. Moreover, all paints used are lead-free. In order to minimise overspray during the painting process, an electrostatic application process is used when possible in the spray booths. Rinsing systems in the spray booths help to ensure that the paint particles released remain significantly below the statutory limit value of three milligrams per cubic metre of discharge. Closed heat and water circuits mean low energy losses and significantly lower water consumption during the painting process.
In 2006, the painting process was further automated in the area of interior painting. The resulting optimisation in paint application results in a noticeable reduction (of around 10 percent) in paint consumption per vehicle.
Changes in transport protection a move away from solvent-based wax to adhesive film and protective hoods and the shut-down of the exterior protective treatment facility at the end of 2006/beginning of 2007, are bringing about reductions of up to 14 percent in solvent emissions.
In the interest of environmental protection especially to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and cost-saving, it has become an urgent requirement to save primary energy sources. How modern technology can help in this respect and save money in the long term has been demonstrated by a project set up at the Ingolstadt plant in January 1999: two powerful gas turbines generate not only warmth for heating, but also electricity and cold air as required. Audi has invested some 20 million euros in the new heat, power and refrigerating plant (CHPR). The technology is engineered in such a way that, in addition to process steam, it simultaneously generates electrical energy from the supplied primary energy, natural gas. Heat which is used as both steam and heating energy is furthermore generated from the exhaust gases occurring during combustion.
Heat is needed in the automotive industry not only to keep the production halls and the offices pleasantly warm in the winter. A large part of the heat energy is used for the new paint shop, which in high summer requires both cold and heat for tempering and drying the paints. As a result of the high level of efficiency of approx. 80 percent for the entire facility and a utilisation factor of around 7,500 full-load hours per year, both the consumption of natural gas as well as the emissions of carbon dioxide are reduced by around 25 percent compared to conventional ways of producing energy.
A further latest project for reducing the emissions of CO2 at the Ingolstadt plant is the use of the district heating supply from the waste recycling plant (MVA) in Mailing. Since the beginning of 2004, Audi has obtained an annual average of around 65,000 Megawatt hours of district heating from the MVA. This heat is produced from the thermal reprocessing and disposal of waste as a bi-product. Through the use of district heating, Audi can save approximately 13,000 tonnes (exactly 12,870 tonnes for 65,000 Megawatt hours) of CO2 a year, around 13 percent (based on CO2 emissions from heating houses and combined heat, power and refrigerating plant (CHPR)) of the CO2 emissions at the Ingolstadt plant.
Under the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), Audi is obliged to take part in the trading of greenhouse gas emissions.
In the initial trading period 2005 to 2007, two heat-generating/power-generating facilities the Heating House East/West and the CHPR come under the category of plant that qualify for emissions trading. Emissions trading in this period is limited exclusively to the greenhouse gas CO2. Following its timely application for emissions certificates from the German Emissions Trading Office (DEHSt) in 2004, the Ingolstadt plant was granted certificates for around 129,000 t CO2 emissions/year for the first trading period. After verification by an expert, the actual quantities of CO2 emitted must be reported to the DEHSt once a year. The procedure for this emissions reporting can only be carried out electronically using an electronic signature. The current emissions certificates awarded will be sufficient for Audi for the first trading period 2005 2007.