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Sustainability Report: Fiat Cuts Water Use 16%

Fiat, the majority shareholder in US carmaker Chrysler, cut mass-market brand plants’ water consumption per vehicle last year by 15.6 percent versus 2011 levels, and by 31.2 percent versus 2010, according to its 2012 sustainability report.

The carmaker improved water efficiency from 5.03 cubic meters per vehicle in 2010, to 4.1 in 2011, and 3.46 in 2012. On an absolute basis, it cut water use by 13.4 percent from 2011 to 2012. Water conservation projects included the capture and reuse of rainwater at the FGA Engines and Transmissions plant in Campo Largo, Brazil, which follows a similar project at the Dundee, Michigan Chrysler plant.

Fiat is aiming to cut water consumption per unit by up to 40 percent by 2014, versus a 2009 baseline. The target for its mass-market brands – including Fiat, Alpha Romeo, Lancia, Abarth and Fiat Professional – is 19 percent versus a 2010 baseline. (The company also makes luxury and performance vehicles under the Ferrari and Maserati brands, as well as components and production systems.)

A+ report

The exhaustive, 291-page report complies with the Global Reporting Initiative’s maximum application level, and was externally audited and assured by SGS Italia S.p.A., earning an A+. Environmental results appear in four sections: a Highlights section at the front, a Sustainability Plan section that lists 2012 results and future targets, an Environmental Dimension section that provides narrative and examples, and a Further Details section with detailed data tables.

Wastewater

In 2012, the group’s wastewater had levels of chemical oxygen demand up to 93 percent below regulatory requirements, while levels of biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids were up to 97 percent and 96 percent below required limits, respectively. Total water discharges fell 8 percent to 17.3 million cubic meters, from 18.8 in 2011. The company installed a new wastewater treatment plant at the vehicle assembly plant in Kragujevac in Serbia, broadening its separation of wastewater streams with three parallel treatment lines.

Energy use

Last year the company lowered its energy consumed per vehicle at mass-market brand plants by 16.8 percent versus 2010 and 10 percent versus 2011, to 6.10 GJ per vehicle. Fiat says it came close to beating its 2014 goal of 5.99 GJ per vehicle, despite under-utilization of plant operating capacity in places most affected by the struggling economy.

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