Launched just ten months ago – and already remarkably successful: Volkswagen Group’s Carbon Fund has already contributed to many successful projects up to the end of 2019. The savings amount to more than 170,000t CO2. And now the next stage has begun: 25 million euros is available annually.
It was only launched ten months ago – and it is already evident that this 25 million euro investment has paid off! We are talking about the so-called CO2 Fund, the “Carbon Fund” of the Volkswagen Group. This money, which was approved by the Group’s Board of Management in February 2019, will be used to implement internal climate protection measures – based on an innovative concept.
All Volkswagen Group brands can apply for these financial resources. The prerequisite: they must submit projects that reduce CO2 emissions, improve energy efficiency or generate other savings. The aim is also to accelerate innovation and strengthen new business models, promote cross-divisional cooperation and improve the Group’s reputation through projects with a high level of impact and visibility. Another key aspect in ensuring that a project receives support from the 25 million euro fund: It should be transferable to various Group locations.
Already in the first year (2019) of the Fund, more than 94 energy efficiency projects were successfully evaluated by the “Carbon Fund” jury, resulting in their implementation.
The successful project will now be repeated year after year. New projects have already been decided for 2020.
Decarbonization in the Volkswagen Group requires the implementation of many individual projects. Below are some examples of the projects made possible in 2019 with the help of the Carbon Fund:
- Project “LED Lighting”: At nine Group production sites, a total of 33 measures were implemented to convert the lighting within certain areas of the plant to energy-saving LEDs. CO2 reduction: 116,000 tones per year.
- Project “Refrigeration Provision”: In Kassel, existing refrigeration units have been, or are in the process of being replaced by so-called separation circuit systems. So far, more than 150 refrigeration units have been replaced. The new separation circuits are used for machine and spindle cooling and considerably reduce energy consumption compared to the previous cooling units. In addition, the heat input into the cooling water network is reduced by 23 percent and maintenance and service intervals are longer and less costly. In addition, it has been possible to ensure that in future all new plants will be equipped with separation circuit systems from the outset. In 2019, 13 systems were retrofitted. Total CO2 reduction: 1,350 tones annually.
- Project “Other Infrastructure”: In this project, new energy-efficiency pumps with a so-called pump curve optimization were installed. At the same time, the roofs of buildings were renovated, and a new cabinet cooling system was installed. The project also commenced on July 1 and was completed on December 31, 2019. CO2 reduction: 2,000 tones per year.
- Project “Paint shop & dryer”: Volkswagen installed a load-dependent volume flow control system at its Hanover site. The technology has been tested and can be extended to other locations in the next few years. The load-dependent control system saves 1,200 tones of CO2 annually while reducing costs. In addition, further projects were implemented in this project which saved a total of 1,800 tones of CO2 by the end of the year.
- Project “Washing processes”: Industrial washing machines were optimized at several locations across the Group. A total of around 30 systems were technically retrofitted with so-called frequency converters. In addition, operating parameters such as pressure and volume flow, temperatures and standby times were optimally adjusted. The project started on July 1 and was completed by the end of the year. CO2 reduction: 2,900 tones annually
- Project “Further production processes”: Modern temperature technology was installed to three die casting machines. In the die casting process, it is important to heat or cool the right areas of the casting mold at the right time. For this purpose, up to 40 heating/cooling circuits run in the molds. With the aid of flow and temperature sensors, the new technology can distribute the heat flow so intelligently that enormous energy savings are achieved through internal heat recovery. The project was implemented in the second half of 2019 and was completed by the end of the year. CO2 reduction: 2,500 tones annually.