In all areas, Audi places great importance on protecting the environment, maximum efficiency and the conservation of natural resources.
From the development stage, through production, and from its use to its final recycling, every car is studied with regard to its ecological sustainability. This is also necessary in order to achieve the goal of CO2-neutral mobility.
For more than 10 years, Audi Brussels has been certified in accordance with EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). This serves as confirmation that the measures implemented in the factory are bearing fruit for environmental protection.
In addition to this award from Europe, the certification system for the Brussels City region honoured the plant as an "Ecodynamic Company" with the award of three stars – the highest rating.
Environmental protection measures at Audi Brussels
Since 1 April 2012, the energy requirements had been solely covered by renewably-produced electricity from water power. Since 2013, this has been supplemented by power supply from a further renewable source on the roofs of the factory, which cover an area of 37,000 m², making it the largest photovoltaic power plant in the Brussels region. This plant produces annually over 3,000 MWh of electrical energy, the equivalent of the consumption for 660 four-person households.
Through the use of renewable power, Audi can reduce its CO2 emissions by 14,230 metric tons per year.
However, Audi Brussels is doing far more to protect the environment. For example, an ingenious ventilation system in the paint shop ensures the most significant reduction in energy use, amounting to a total of 8,159 MWh per year. Furthermore, from Spring 2015, a combined heat and power plant is due to go online. This plant, in modular construction, will generate two MW of electrical energy and, at the same time, will employ the heat generated to provide energy to the hot water system.
The efficient use of thermal energy also leads to additional savings. Thus, new ventilation systems enable the heating up of cold input air by using the warm air outflow. In order to make even greater improvements in the environmental performance on the site, a proportion of the waste water is purified in an environmentally-friendly manner, and without chemicals, thanks to the use of bacteria.
Encounter – The Audi Environment Magazine 2012 (14 MB)
The research project "Oak Forest CO2 reservoir", in which 3,000 oak trees were planted in the vicinity of the factory premises, provides a further example of environmental commitment. In collaboration with the Technische Universität München and Belgian universities, Audi wishes in this case to investigate the influence of the planting density of oak forests on their productivity, biodiversity and CO2 sequestration. The project was introduced in Brussels in June 2012 based on examples from other Audi sites.
Above all, on commencement of construction of the new paint shop building L8 in 2013, the plant achieved a further step in the direction of environmental protection. Using new technologies and processes for the painting operation, 20% savings in energy and water were made, compared with the former building.
And even from a social point of view, Audi Brussels is making an important contribution through its responsible actions. The factory fire brigade comes to be employed in a wide range of areas: it provides both technical assistance and preventative inspections within the factory and in the Brussels area. The renovation of, and investment in, new equipment, fire engines and fire protection measures demonstrate that Audi has the safety of people close to its heart.
Moreover, in 2013, Audi Brussels was awarded the seal of quality "Fireforum Certified Building". This certificate, which is valid for three years, endorses the site for its efforts at improving fire protection, the process sequences for call-outs and the fire retardant fitting out of the building. In this field, Audi Brussels is one of the trend-setters in Belgium.