Volkswagen is on a mission to be the largest automaker in the world while maintaining a commitment to being environmentally and socially conscientious. Since 1995, when the carmaker set down a series of principles it wanted to achieve, VW has worked diligently to reach those goals. In brief, VW as a company pledged to:
- keep its impact on the environment as small as possible
- offer high-quality cars that are environmentally compatible, efficient, safe and comfortable
- research and develop ecologically efficient products, processes, and concepts for individual mobility
- continuously improve their policies, cars, and production sites to be more environmentally friendly
- follow its stated environmental policy
- maintain a dialogue with customers, dealers, political authorities, and the public
- train its employees in environmental practices
VW Think Blue Commitment To Ecology In Action
In a field that depends on significant amounts of energy to make a product that depends on a continuous supply of energy to run, VW is a recognized leader for its eco-friendly efforts.
Here are some examples of how the company continuously breathes life into its written policies:
- In 2006, JD Powers listed the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, and New Beetle on its list of environmentally friendly cars based on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. Since that time, Volkswagen has committed itself to offering “BlueMotion” vehicles with high fuel economy and low emissions that are the most economical models in their class. VW vehicles that offer the Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) in diesel models, the Golf, Jetta, and Polo, represent BlueMotion in action. VW’s TSI technology for gasoline engines aims to maximize power from a smaller displacement while limiting fuel consumption.
- Once criticized in Europe for the levels of CO2 emissions its cars released, Volkswagen did an Ecological Restructuring in 2012 that commits the company to reducing the exhaust output and fuel consumption of its entire European new car fleet to 95 g/km by 2020. The company announced large planned investments to help it achieve these goals, along with their goal to improve environmental sustainability in each of its worldwide facilities by 25%.
Think Blue, Factory
- With the announcement of its “Think Blue” slogan in 2012, VW committed itself to building cars 25% more environmentally compatible by 2018 in factories that follow green manufacturing practices. For employees, “Think Blue, Factory” is an opportunity to get involved as the company plans to honor workers who come up with ideas to cut energy use on the job.
- VW’s production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee was honored by the EPA with a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award for its use of renewable energy in the plant. As EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy notes, “By investing in on-site green power, Volkswagen Chattanooga is generating cleaner electricity and reducing harmful carbon pollution, and providing a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability.”
Think Blue Future
- The company is always testing the next best environmentally friendly thing. Currently, it is producing a small number of the VW XL1, a hybrid powered by an 800cc diesel engine, electric motor, and battery pack that will offer 313 miles per gallon. At nearly $150,000, the vehicle is not intended for mass production, but it does show how a commitment to green vehicles might play out. The company is also working on its CrossBlue 7-seat SUV to introduce sound ecology to the large car market.
Volkswagen’s commitment to the environment is serious and ongoing, even as it aims for the top spot among auto manufacturers worldwide.