Skoda, the Czech automaker and subsidiary to the Volkswagen Group, has for numerous years been optimising its ecological footprint by not having municipal waste sent to landfills. Today, the manufacturer has announced that it’s also stopped using landfill sites for commercial waste since the start of 2020.
As such, all waste produced during the manufacturing process of its vehicles and disposal of end-of-life components are either materially or thermally recycled.
Michael Oeljeklaus, Skoda Auto Board Member for Production and Logistics, stressed, “As a car manufacturer, we have a particular responsibility to set a good example in terms of sustainability.”
“Accordingly, we are consistently implementing our ‘GreenFuture’ strategy and have reached the next milestone in the ‘GreenFactory’ sub-section: we are now recycling 100 per cent of all waste generated during vehicle production. This is an important step towards even greater, all-embracing recycling efforts and a clear commitment to strengthening the circular economy.”
It’s also great to hear that the company is pursuing an eco-friendly approach to waste disposal. While this might not make financial sense, Skoda is using this as a means of being more ecological and present itself as a more environmentally sustainable brand.
For example, the manufacturer uses plastic parts from recycled waste; when the latter materials are recycled thermally, Skoda uses the energy released during the incineration process to generate heat or electricity in other parts of the plant.
To make more of an impact, Skoda uses elaborate recycling measures and works with the Czech Institute for Circular Economy to improve efficiency in its day-to-day operations. Here, the automaker is trying to avoid producing any waste from the outset; rather than offset waste after production.
Skoda’s paint shop, for example, which is located at the Mladá Boleslav plant in the Czech Republic and about 50km northeast of Prague, uses approximately 210g less solvent per car, and as a result, each vehicle requires 17% less clear coat than older systems.
Furthermore, no paint sludge accumulates as a waste product and the new exhaust air decontamination system reduces the amount of paint residue created per car body by more than 2kg. That might not seem like a lot, however, considering Skoda manufactured over 900,000 vehicles at its Mladá Boleslav plant last year, it adds up to a substantial reduction in wastage.
These steps have all been taken so that the brand can hit its ‘GreenFuture’ strategy, which is based on three pillars:
- The development of future vehicles that are both environmentally friendly and are made from sustainable materials.
- By promoting eco-friendly operations at its dealerships and workshops (‘GreenRetail’).
- Helping conserve resources during production, such as energy and water consumption or the amount of waste generated per vehicle (‘GreenFactory’ְ).
On the whole, Skoda is trying to reduce wastage and improve efficiency across all of its operations. The manufacturer is aiming to be carbon-neutral by the second half of this decade. Should more car manufacturers be environmentally conscious? Let us know in the comments below or via social media; we’re on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.