Team ulaunch explains Audi’s policies on fighting climate change and their Sustainability Project named Mission Zero

Audi is a German automobile manufacturer that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury vehicles. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. However, the growing trend for widespread car ownership, combined with a rapidly growing population, is causing unprecedented harm to the planet. Tackling this is a challenge faced by every major player in the automotive industry. In this scenario, Audi promises to realise their vision for the future: mobility with a clear conscience.

Q. What are the actions Audi is taking towards tackling climate change?

  • Audi is working to reduce its carbon footprint by ensuring that its operations that strictly adhere to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets. 
  • They are trying to achieve this by integrating ESG criteria into their long-term management processes. 
  • As a result of this, Audi has also started the “Mission: Zero” environmental programme.
Mission Zero – Audi’s Sustainability Project

Q. What is Mission Zero?

The Mission: Zero programme is a recent initiative by Audi where the focus is given on four action areas: decarbonisation, water usage, resource efficiency, and biodiversity. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations act as a guiding principle for this programme along with the environmental mission statement of the Volkswagen Group.

Objectives of the four action areas :

  • Decarbonisation: Audi sites will become carbon-neutral on balance by 2025
  • Water usage: Closed water cycles and wastewater-free production sites
  • Resource efficiency: Circular economy and effective and efficient use of raw materials
  • Biodiversity: Projects for protecting and preserving biological diversity at all Audi sites

Q. What are the emission sources at Audi along its value chain?

  • Scope 1 covers direct emissions from combustion processes of stationary and mobile systems, emissions from processes, and emissions from volatile gases.                                   
  • Scope 2 emissions are produced, for example, from energy sources purchased externally and consumed by the company: These are indirect emissions from purchased electricity and district heating/cooling systems, and from purchased steam.                                                              
  • Scope 3 creates a distinction between upstream and downstream activities. Upstream activities relate, for example, to emissions generated on the supplier side from manufacturing the product from raw materials up to the point of delivery to Audi (cradle-to-gate). Business trips and waste produced are also included in this scope category. Downstream activities include, for example, emissions from transporting products sold and those generated by the end customer in the use phase of sold goods.
Sustainability Project Mission Zero
Emissions sources at Audi along the value chain
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Q. How is Audi helping preserve biological diversity?

  • Audi is focusing on the efficiency of its processes and water cycles at its production sites. 
  • It plays its part in countering the increasing consumption of land around the world. 
  • It is conducting biodiversity projects at all of its sites to play its part in helping preserve biological diversity.
  • The company combines numerous measures in each action area with the aim of making its production as environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral as possible. The natural design of the open spaces at the Audi production facility in Münchsmünster is a lighthouse project for the biodiversity action area. 
  • The Oak Forest research project by the Audi Environmental Foundation was launched in 2008 in the Köschinger Forest near Ingolstadt with around 36,000 English oak trees. The project now comprises more than 100,000 trees in various areas around the Audi sites in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Győr, Brussels, and San José Chiapa. The Audi Environmental Foundation has taken on long-term scientific support for this project. 
  • The interactions between stand density, biological diversity, and CO2 binding potential are being studied under the direction of the Chair of Forest Growth Science at the Technical University of Munich.
Mission Zero - Audi’s Sustainability Project - Audi manufacturing facility Münchsmünster
Audi Manufacturing Facility Münchsmünster
Image Source

Q. How is Audi working towards environmental management?

  • Audi analyses environmental aspects of its worldwide factory network in great depth for documenting progress toward sustainable production. In addition to emissions, Audi looks at other site-based environmental aspects of operational value creation.                                         
  • The environmental management system of the European Union, EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), is installed at almost all European car plants of the Audi Group.               
  • Six Audi sites in Germany and seven internationally have management systems accredited according to DIN EN ISO 14001 or DIN EN ISO 50001.                                                                                
  • The Environmental Protection organisational unit at Audi coordinates the Audi Group’s activities in the area of ecology according to Audi’s environmental policy and is the central contact for the respective environmental protection bodies of the Volkswagen Group. It develops overarching and strategic regulations and implements these in practice.                                 
  • Audi also places a particular focus on energy-saving measures when planning production and supply facilities as well as buildings. The company’s activities concentrate on generating energy from renewable sources and improving energy efficiency.                                                   
  • Audi AG is currently working with Volkswagen Group Logistics to develop a uniform accounting method to determine the CO₂ emissions of logistics operations. The Group-wide accounting method has been developed in accordance with DIN EN 16258 and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The CO₂emissions are evaluated using impact factors such as distance, payload, equipment, and capacity utilisation.
Sustainable Design

At Audi, the aim is to realise their vision for the future: mobility with a clear conscience. They are working constantly to achieve this, placing sustainability at the core of their operations while maintaining a focus on trust and future viability, which have been key objectives for them for a long time.

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Researched and Written by Saloni Chona, Team ulaunch.

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