Environment protection in automotive production

Exemplary environment protection in automotive engineering & Co

Decreased water consumption, reduced solvent emission, more recycling – the automotive industry’s environment protection measures are more efficient than ever before. Although the production output for vehicles has increased significantly, German manufacturers managed to reduce the waste production substantially. Around 80 percent of the waste is already fed into the raw material cycle.

In spite of increasing production volumes for passenger cars and utility vehicles, the consumption of resources continues to decrease significantly. Water circuits and the use of other water-saving methods since the beginning of the nineties helped reducing the fresh water consumption by two thirds. Using the most advanced membrane technologies, one site even achieved the ideal of a wastewater-free factory. In addition to saving fresh water, the industrial water consumption could equally be reduced. The automotive manufacturers’ wastewater production decreases at the same time.

The German automotive industry is also leading in terms of air pollution control. No other automotive industry emits less solvent per square meter of varnished surface than the German industry. The paint shops are worldwide reference. German knowledge and experience has also been integrated in the European process for an integrated prevention and reduction of environmental pollution. This process serves to define the best available practices for certain plants. From an environmental perspective, the observance of the German standard by all paint shops in the European Union would be desirable.

The reduction of landfill waste is another success story

Although the vehicle production has increased significantly since 1990 and the produced vehicles have become more complex, the manufacturers managed to reduce the disposable waste volume substantially. This is mainly due to the excellent recycling procedures of the automotive industry. Due to these intensive efforts, each produced new vehicle statistically generates 16kg of disposable waste only. About four fifths of this waste are reintegrated into the raw material cycle today. These figures do not include valuable metal waste. If these had been considered, the recycling rate would be nearly 100 percent.

The figures mentioned above are an impressive evidence for the extremely responsible and environmentally conscious use of natural resources by the automotive industry.

back to summary

First publication: 07.05.2008 Last modified: 22.10.2010