VWSA’s road to carbon neutrality

Aligning with the priorities of the Volkswagen brand worldwide, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has set its sights on an ambitious goal: for its Kariega plant to become a carbon-neutral production facility by 2030.

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VWSA is already well on its way to achieving this, putting environmental sustainability first through a range of projects being implemented at its Kariega plant, as well as its premises in Sandton and Centurion.

Under the umbrella of their Zero Impact Factory programme, VWSA has placed its focus on biodiversity, clean energy, efficient resource management and waste reduction, to name a few.

Notably, VWSA has installed solar photovoltaic panels at its sites capable of generating 4 488 MWh of electricity annually, with R34 million invested to date. Additionally, solar panels installed at the employee car park for the Kariega plant will be added to this from September 2024, accounting for an additional investment of R55 million and a further 4 500 MWh in generation capacity.

In terms of water consumption, VWSA has installed rainwater harvesting tanks capable of storing 1.2 million litres of rainwater, for use in various production areas. This is in addition to the waste-water recycling facility VWSA built on site in 2021, which has the capacity to reduce the plant’s use of freshwater in Production by 26%.

Meanwhile, the company’s waste reduction initiatives have delivered impressive results, with a 5% reduction in landfill waste in 2023. VWSA has reduced its cardboard box waste by 17 tonnes and its plastic waste by 46 tonnes in 2022 and 2023. The company also continues its efforts to promote biodiversity through projects such as spekboom planting and the removal of invasive alien plant species at its Kariega sites.

Through all these and other projects, VWSA has already reduced its environmental impact by 57% compared to the baseline measured in 2010.

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