The consistent electrification of the product range means that a large proportion of the CO2 emissions are no longer accounted for by cars’ exhaust systems, but by the supply chain and in upstream production processes. Together with its suppliers, therefore, Audi is developing measures to reduce CO2 emissions that take effect already in that phase. The focus of the CO2 program is on particularly energy-intensive materials used in production, such as aluminum, steel and battery components.
In 30 workshops with suppliers, 50 measures have so far been developed with the potential to reduce CO2 per car by 1.2 tons. Specific potential for CO2 reductions exists in closed material cycles, successive increases in secondary materials, the use of recycled materials in plastic components and the use of green electricity. For future orders, Audi intends to agree with its suppliers on the implementation of these measures, which are to be fully effective by 2025. The use of green power has been an integral element of supplier agreements with manufacturers of high-voltage battery cells since 2018. The company analyses the effectiveness of these measures on the basis of lifecycle analyses and has them certified by independent third parties. Audi plans to conduct further workshops next year in order to identify additional potential. The comprehensive program includes sub-suppliers as well as direct suppliers.
Bernd Martens, Board of Management Member for Procurement and IT at AUDI AG, says: “Already in the first year of the CO2 Program, we identified 50 concrete measures with our partners that contribute to the consistent decarbonization of our company. We are also creating more transparency in the supply chain.”
As the first step, Audi is focusing on aluminum, because the production of this material consumes a lot of energy. Audi has launched several innovations to make progress here.
Audi introduced the so-called aluminum closed loop at its Neckarsulm plant in 2017. The aluminum-sheet offcuts produced in the press plant are returned directly to the supplier, where they are prepared and reprocessed. Audi then uses the new aluminum sheets produced in this way in its production. On balance, Audi reduced CO2 emissions by about 90,000 tons in this way in 2018 alone. In the future, Audi will roll out the aluminum closed loop at other plants.
With a view to the economical use of resources, Audi is also currently examining the possibility of increasing the proportion of components made of secondary aluminum. In addition, the company is sensitizing its direct suppliers to the use of renewable energy in the production of components also at the sub-supplier level.
Audi requires its battery-cell suppliers to use green electricity in cell production. This requirement is a fixed and binding component of all new orders for the supply of high-voltage battery cells. Before an order is placed, suppliers must submit an appropriate green-power concept.
Audi intends to make its contribution to achieving the Paris climate targets. The company is pursuing the ambitious, self-imposed vision of working towards CO2 neutrality on balance by 2050. To achieve this goal, Audi is starting at the beginning of the value chain and in 30 workshops with suppliers since 2018, has identified a total of 50 measures with a reduction potential of 1.2 tons of CO2 per car.