Report: Sustainability in Audi AG

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Personal Development & Careers
Task 7

Environmental Sustainability in Audi AG

By 1213666
To: Romas Malevicius

22.11.2012

Table of contents

List of Figures
Summary
Introduction
1 Audi AG Sustainability Procedures
1.1 Technologies
1.2 Waste & water management
2. Sustainability as a part of Audi’s CSR
2.1 Audi Environmental Foundation
2.2 Environmental Pact for Bavaria & EMAS
2.4 Recognition
3. Criticism
3.1 General criticism towards the automobile industry
3.2 “Greenwashing”
Conclusions
Bibliography

List of figures

* Figure 1.3 p. 7 From: http://wip.audi.no/photoalbum/view/?size=org&id=15902&type=1 (Accessed 21.11.2012)

Summary

This report covers Audi AG’s current operational and strategic procedures for environmental sustainability. It looks at sustainability as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and views critical analysis of the automobile industry to enable making balanced conclusions.

Introduction

A report by the United Nations entitled Our Common Future (1987) defined sustainable development as ‘development, which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ In addition to this, so called ‘intergenerational equity’ has remained a theme in defining environmental sustainability. Essentially it means seeking the minimization of any adverse (long-term) impacts on future generations. The aim of this report is to investigate the actualizations of the aforesaid principles in the corporate actions of Audi AG. Audi AG is a motor vehicle manufacturer, which comprises of the brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini. It is a multinational company (MNE) that employs some 46,000 people and has an annual output of over 1,3 million units. Audi AG is part of Volkswagen Group, headquartered from Ingolstadt, Germany.

1. Audi AG Sustainability Procedures

1.1 Technologies

Audi admits that a car manufacturer can never claim to have a positive impact on the environment. They are, however, investing billions of pounds in responsible technologies. These include lightweight space frames, diesel engines and Start-Stop technologies. The purpose of these is to reduce fuel consumption and hence cut CO2 emissions.

1.2 Waste & water management
Audi’s slogan ‘Advancement Through Technology’ essentially outlines the company’s principle of constant innovation. The brand values also state that corporate activities are “shaped by the desire to preserve resources and take a responsible approach to the environment”. They have undertaken numerous actions to introduce these principles. For instance, assembly line waste is separated & sorted on-site and packaging is optimised in the planning stage, which reduce transport needs substantially. Audi uses various sources of energy, such as a local waste processing plant and the Combined Heat, Cooling and Power production facility (CHCP) in the Ingolstadt factory. Together they save the company 37,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. For car production the company collects rainwater. They also feed 96.3 per cent of total water into a closed-loop system, so only a very small amount of water is lost. Moreover, Audi encourages recycling vehicle parts and batteries. As a result their production output has substantially increased in the last two decades but overall energy use has remained virtually the same.

Figure 1.3.
Figure 1.3 illustrates the decrease in waste water volume per vehicle in Audi’d main production plants in Germany between the years 1990 and 1999. The total decrease is 4,5m3/vehicle in Neckarsulm and correspondingly 2,3m3/vehicle in Ingolstadt.

2. Sustainability as a part of Audi’s CSR
2.1 Audi Environmental Foundation
Audi’s commitment to the environment and society is an integral part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The most compelling evindence is the Audi Environmental Foundation Ltd., which...
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