Volkswagen’s new assembly facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been named the world’s most environmentally-friendly auto plant. Energy and Utilities Specialist Dave Gustashaw at Volkswagen explains why:
"We have arguably one of the most energy-efficient processes of any automotive assembly facility in the world. Our paint booths are equipped with dry scrubbers instead of water which saves about 20,000 gallons of water a day. Our new paint process is optimized to improve quality while saving about 20 to 30 percent of the energy in that process. It’s also the first automotive manufacturing plant to receive the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. And we are installing a photovoltaic array that will satisfy 12.5 percent of our total energy needs.
Why is it important for Volkswagen to have an environmentally-friendly plant?
Natural resources are limited so we promote sustainability in everything we do. Volkswagen has been following a sustainable policy for more than 20 years and we have a new environmental philosophy called Think Blue. We have a target to reduce our worldwide energy needs by 25 percent and Chattanooga is one of the flagship plants for this initiative.
What are the benefits for Volkswagen and its employees in having the world's greenest auto plant?
The city of Chattanooga has gone through a green renaissance over the past 40 years to become one of the most advanced and greenest communities in the States. With our new Passat we produce a green car in a green plant in a green city.
What is the next step in your environmental efforts?
We will introduce hybrid cars and in the longer run also electric cars, while reducing weight and improving energy efficiency in manufacturing. Expect both revolutionary and evolutionary progress from Volkswagen.