Volkswagen Group’s low CO2 fleet and LEED platinum automotive plant, among other environmental initiatives, have earned the carmaker a World Environment Center Gold Medal award.
The WEC says it awarded VW with a Gold Medal for its holistic approach to sustainability across all aspects of its operations. This includes following environmental principles when building cars — at every stage of a vehicle’s lifecycle — from design to eventual recycling; establishing sustainability contracts with suppliers; providing efficiency training throughout Volkswagen’s global workforce; and striving to achieve the most efficient manufacturing facilities in the world.
Volkswagen Group of America’s factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the only automotive plant in the world to have earned LEED platinum certification from the US Green Building Council. The plant conserves 720,000kW of energy annually through insulation made of recycled materials and rock wool, and has saved more than 6 million gallons of water, to date, through rainwater collection.
Volkswagen Group of America has six LEED-certified facilities located in the US.
In 2013, a 66-acre solar park, the largest solar park in the state of Tennessee, was installed on the Volkswagen Chattanooga site. The 33,000 solar panels generate 13.1GWh of electricity each year.
Additionally, VW offers the largest low-CO2 fleet in the global market, with high-performing and efficient powertrain options, including TDI Clean Diesel, Turbo Stratified Injection (TSI), hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric.
Last year the company said it will reduce the CO2 emissions of its European new car fleet to 95 grams per kilometer by 2020.
Earlier recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award are Unilever (2013), IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Wal-Mart Stores (2010), the Coca-Cola Company (2009), and Marks & Spencer (2008).