Environmental Indicators

As in previous years, we present key environmental indicators for our production operations in the 2015 reporting year. The indicators presented here are not affected by the diesel emissions issue, and include selected environmental data for the Volkswagen Group in aggregated form.

The data is collected, checked and approved at the production locations in line with an internal standard (VW standard 98 000). In order to improve the accuracy and consistency of the resultant information, the collection of environmentally relevant consumption and emission data is subject to a continuous improvement process. This applies in particular to those items of information that are calculated using special algorithms. Furthermore, the values for December of the preceding year may include some estimated data if, for example, they are based on bills from power suppliers or waste disposal providers which were not yet available at the time of compilation. In the next data collection round, this estimated data is then replaced with the finalized figures for December.

In line with corporate monitoring of our environmental strategy, the reported time series are related back to the 2010 baseline. The current reporting year and the preceding year complete the reporting period.

Overall, the environmental data is collected from production locations with some 490,000 employees (as at December 31, 2015), equating to around 85% of the total workforce. The 2015 report also includes data from our production locations in Tianjin (VW Automatic Transmission Co. Ltd.) and Changsha (Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Company Ltd.).

As in the Volkswagen Group’s Annual Report, data in the “Car and light commercial vehicles” category is reported for the years 2010, 2014 and 2015. Data for the brands Scania AB, MAN SE, Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. and VW Kraftwerk GmbH is reported in the “Other divisions” category; the respective proportions are shown separately in the graphs. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the Group’s production locations, together with the power stations and boiler plants operated by Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, Kassel and Hanover in Germany, are included in both categories.

The Volkswagen Group is essentially an automotive manufacturer which produces cars and light commercial vehicles, as well as heavy-duty commercial vehicles and buses. MAN SE does, however, also manufacture marine engines and power station components. In view of this product diversity, our overall environmental impact cannot simply be expressed in terms of the volume of vehicles produced. Consequently, relative indicators are only shown for the “Car and light commercial vehicles” category. The number of vehicles produced in 2015 totaled 9,837,020 cars and light commercial vehicles, as well as 180,171 heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

The changing production volumes and associated fluctuations in capacity utilization levels at the various locations are reflected in changes in the absolute values of many indicators. However, increased efficiency has resulted in improvements in the specific values of a number of indicators.

Weather conditions have an appreciable but uncontrollable impact on the consumption of resources. This relates primarily to space heating demand for both production and non-production areas, since the annual average temperatures impact the direct consumption of energy sources, as well as the amount of energy purchased.

Thus the specific values are influenced by a range of factors. On the one hand, absolute consumption or emission levels may change, while on the other, rising or falling production volumes at the individual production locations also influence the indicators.

Energy consumption*

in million MWh/year

Graphic: Energy consumption in million MWh/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

Energy consumption*

in kWh/vehicle

Graphic: Energy consumption in kWh/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

As a result of the continuous rise in production volumes, overall energy consumption has increased since 2010, both for the Group as a whole and for cars and light commercial vehicles. In the vehicle division, energy consumption per vehicle has also risen compared with 2014.

Compared with 2010, electricity consumption has also increased, albeit with a slight decrease since 2014. Since 2010, various efficiency-enhancing measures have reduced electricity consumption per vehicle produced. However, the fall in unit output compared with the previous year meant that this indicator did rise slightly in 2015.

Heat consumption is subdivided into space heating demand for heating production and non-production sectors, and space heating demand for industrial processes. Since space heating accounts for the greater proportion of the total heating demand, weather conditions have a major impact on trends in overall heating demand.

Heat consumption in 2015 rose compared with the previous year due to longer heating periods; this is also reflected in the specific value per vehicle.

Fuel gases for manufacturing processes are primarily used for industrial production processes. For example, they are used as combustion fuels for operating industrial afterburning facilities in paintshops or in annealing furnaces in component production. Thus the decline in production volumes between 2014 and 2015 reduced the overall consumption of these fuel gases, although the specific value per vehicle did rise.

Direct CO2 emissions (Scope 1)*

in million tonnes/year

Graphic: Direct CO2 emissions (Scope 1) in million tonnes/year
* Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

Direct CO2 emissions (Scope 1)*

in kg/vehicle

Graphic: Direct CO2 emissions (Scope 1) in kg/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

Despite the inclusion of new production locations and the associated increase in energy consumption, direct CO2 emissions in the cars and light commercial vehicles category, and also across the Group as a whole, have been falling since 2010.

Direct CO2 emissions are associated with the combustion of fossil fuels, the use of which has been successfully reduced. The reduction in the absolute volume of emissions goes hand in hand with a decline in direct CO2 emissions per vehicle since 2010. However, the fall in unit output compared with 2014 meant that direct CO2 emissions per vehicle did rise slightly since 2010. 

CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2)*

in million tonnes/year

Graphic: CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) in million tonnes/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2)*

in kg/vehicle

Graphic: CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) in kg/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

Total CO2 emissions have risen since 2010 due to the increased consumption of electricity, heat and fuel gases for production. But although CO2 emissions per vehicle rose between 2014 and 2015, they have seen a significant decline since the start of the reporting period in 2010.

By using suitable CO2 emission factors to evaluate the energy and heat consumption of production locations, CO2 emissions produced by the generation of heat and electricity for Volkswagen AG’s production locations by power stations and boiler plants operated by Volkswagen AG are included in the total volume of CO2 emissions. Changes in CO2 emission factors resulting from this energy generation resulted in an increase in both absolute and specific total CO2 emissions compared with the previous year.

The stated CO2 emissions do not include emissions relating to district heating or power supplied to third parties by power stations operated by Volkswagen AG. In 2015, these emissions amounted to 324,015 t of CO2 emissions.

CO2 equivalents*

in million tonnes/year

Graphic: CO2 equivalents in million tonnes/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

CO2 equivalents*

in kg/vehicle

Graphic: CO2 equivalents* in kg/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

CO2 equivalents are calculated on the basis of the specific global warming potential of individual emitted refrigerants. Since such emissions do not occur continuously and are not dependent on a location’s production volume, there may be relatively large fluctuations over a given time series.

GHG emissions (Scope 3)

in the Volkswagen Group (cars and light commercial vehicles)

    20151 20141
No. Category tonnes CO2 % tonnes CO2 %
1 Purchased goods and services 2 55,980,353 17.7 58,561,828 17.7
2 Capital goods 13,027,840 4.1 10,994,208 3.3
3 Fuel/energy 1,322,836 0.4 1,305,944 0.4
4 Upstream transportation and distribution (U3) 3,854,829 1.2 4,340,123 1.3
5 Waste generated in operations 1,996,517 0.6 1,968,941 0.6
6 Business travel 652,320 0.2 639,993 0.2
7 Employee commuting 939,902 0.3 912,283 0.3
8 Upstream leased assets (U3) Not reported 0.0 Not reported 0.0
9 Downstream transportation and distribution (D4) Not reported 0.0 Not reported 0.0
10 Processing of sold products 12,994 0,004 12,994 0.004
11 Use phase (150,000km)5 233,766,999 74.1 247,176,955 74.9
12 End-of-life treatment2 1,567,437 0.5 1,748,899 0.5
13 Downstream leased assets (D4) 903,449 0.3 731,813 0.2
14 Franchises 1,550,000 0.5 1,550,000 0.5
15 Investments Not reported 0.0 Not reported 0.0
  Total of reported Scope 3 emissions 315,575,476 100 329,943,981 100
       
1Individual figures are rounded. This may lead to minor discrepancies in the sum total.
2Because a new calculation method with refined system limits is now in use, these figures are not directly comparable with previous years.
3Upstream.
4Downstream.
5Well-to-Wheel.

In line with the Scope 3 standards published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute, Volkswagen reports CO2 emissions for 12 out of a total of 15 Scope 3 categories. The calculations have revealed that the “Purchased goods and services” and “Use phase” emission categories account for around 92% of all Scope 3 emissions. CO2 emissions in the use phase are calculated on the basis of a Group fleet value representing the global vehicle population in the four major regions (EU28, USA, Brazil and China). In order to provide as complete a picture as possible, Volkswagen also collects data on emissions in this category that are produced during the production and transportation of fuels (“well to tank” emissions).

CO2 emissions*

of the Volkswagen Group’s European (EU 28) New Passenger Car Fleet in g/km

Graphic: CO2 emmisions
*Subject to official publication by the European Commission. (”NEDC test cycle“).

The Volkswagen Group’s new passenger car fleet in the EU (excluding Lamborghini and Bentley) emitted an average of 120.8 g CO2/km over the reporting period, undercutting the European limit set for 2015 (130 g CO2/km) by 9.2 g, and falling just shy of the 120 g target we had set ourselves. For the purposes of European CO2 legislation, the Lamborghini and Bentley brands each have an independent fleet, both of which likewise met their individual targets. In the USA, the fleet emissions figure is 163 g CO2/km, in China 161.5 g CO2/km and in Brazil 137.2 g CO2/km.

VOC emissions*

in tonnes/year

Graphic: VOC emissions in tonnes/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

VOC emissions*

in kg/vehicle

Graphic: VOC emissions in kg/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

Coating processes are the main producers of VOC emissions. Modern paintshops use coating and process materials containing fewer solvents. During the coating process, they also take steps to collect and/or eliminate any solvents emitted. The most common technique for doing this is thermal afterburning of the exhaust air downstream of the actual coating process. The volume of emissions into the environment is determined using a combination of instrumental measurements and calculations.

Despite the increase in vehicle production since 2010 and the associated increase in the number of coating operations, absolute VOC emissions declined. Emissions per vehicle were significantly reduced over this period.

Waste for disposal1, 2

in tonnes/year

Graphic: Waste for disposal in tonnes/year

Waste for disposal3

in kg/vehicle

Grafik: Abfall zur Beseitigung in kg/Fzg.
1 The bars for “Non-hazardous waste for disposal” and “Hazardous waste for disposal” indicate the share attributable to other Group divisions. This is not depicted for the other fractions, however, due to their minimal share in these amounts.
2 Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.
3 Cars and light commercial vehicles.

Waste for recycling1, 2

in tonnes/year

Graphic: Waste for recycling in kg/vehicle

Waste for recycling3

in kg/vehicle

Grafik: Abfall zur Verwertung in kg/Fzg.
1 The bars for “Non-hazardous waste for recycling”, “Hazardous waste for recycling” and “Metallic waste” indicate the share attributable to other Group divisions. This is not depicted for the other fractions, however, due to their minimal share in these amounts.
2 Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.
3 Cars and light commercial vehicles.

In the cars and light commercial vehicles category, the increase in production volumes since 2010 resulted in an increase in the total volume of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. At the same time, the proportion of waste for disposal was reduced from around 34% in 2010 to around 22% in 2015. Conversely, the proportion of waste for recycling increased from around 66% in 2010 to around 78% in 2015, thanks in part to the Group’s waste strategy, which aims to improve waste recycling rates.

The absolute quantity of metallic “waste”, which internally is considered a valuable material in view of its complete recyclability and the associated sales revenues, has increased since the start of the reporting period in 2010 due to increased production volumes across the Group, but declined by comparion with 2014. An allocation error in the reported data meant that this indicator had to be corrected retrospectively, such that it rose by an average of 14% over the reporting period. Taking all waste – including metallic waste – into account, the recovery rate is about 94%.

In the last reporting year, around 153,000 tonnes of power plant residues from power stations operated by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH were recycled.

Freshwater and wastewater*

in million m3/year

Graphic: Freshwater and wastewater in million m3/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

Freshwater and wastewater*

in m3/vehicle

Graphic: Freshwater and wastewater in m3/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

Along with the rising production volumes of cars and light commercial vehicles, total consumption of freshwater has steadily grown over the last five years. To some extent, this is due to the inclusion of new locations in the reporting scope. Despite the increased number of Group locations, freshwater consumption per vehicle has steadily fallen over the reporting period since 2010 thanks to a raft of recycling measures and the introduction of waterless manufacturing techniques that use minimal water.

Wastewater volumes show a similar trend to freshwater. The differences in freshwater and wastewater volumes are caused by evaporation losses from cooling towers and in the manufacturing process.  Wastewater volumes per car and light commercial vehicle produced have likewise been reduced compared with 2010 and 2014.

Wastewater discharges1, 2

in million m3/year

Graphic: Wastewater discharges in million m3/year
1Cars and light commercial vehicles.
2In 2010, differentiated figures for the Group as a whole were not yet available.

Water withdrawal by source1, 2

in million m3/year

Graphic: Water withdrawal by source in million m3/year
1Cars and light commercial vehicles
2Figures for 2014 and 2015 include all Passenger Car and Commercial Vehicle locations; figures for 2010 only apply to Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH locations, because differentiated figures were not yet available for all Group locations.

Direct NOx and SO2 emissions*

in tonnes/year

Graphic: Direct NOx and SO2 emissions in tonnes/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.

Direct NOx and SO2 emissions*

in g/vehicle

Graphic: Direct NOx and SO2 emissions in g/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

Absolute NOx emissions, as well as NOx emissions per vehicle in the cars and light commercial vehicles category, declined significantly over the period 2010 to 2015.

The sharp decline in direct SO2 emissions since 2010 is due to changes in ownership of a power generation plant and the replacement of coal as a fuel.

Particulate emissions*

in tonnes/year

Graphic: Particulate emissions in tonnes/year
*Cars and light commercial vehicles Europa (total dust).

Particulate emissions*

in g/vehicle

Graphic: Particulate emissions in g/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles Europa (total dust).

The development of particulate emissions in the cars and light commercial vehicles category at the Group’s production locations in Europe is partially attributable to the rise in unit output. Furthermore, during the previous year, emission levels at one production location were temporarily found to be above-average, but have since been reduced by taking appropriate measures.

Chemical Oxygen Demand
(COD)1, 2

in tonnes/year

Graphic: Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in tonnes/year
1Cars and light commercial vehicles and other divisions.
2Other divisions have not been highlighted in the graphic due to the low proportions involved.

Chemical Oxygen Demand
(COD)*

in g/vehicle

Graphic: Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in g/vehicle
*Cars and light commercial vehicles.

The absolute wastewater parameter ”Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)“ showed a similar trend to freshwater and wastewater volumes. The chemical oxygen demand per vehicle rose between 2010 and 2015. This parameter is an indicator of wastewater contamination levels.

Depending on where wastewater is purified, a distinction is made between locations that act as indirect dischargers by discharging wastewater into municipal sewers for further purification, and those that act as direct dischargers by treating their own wastewater in-house and then discharging the purified wastewater directly into a body of water. In 2015, indirect discharging locations accounted for 92% of the Group’s total wastewater volumes, compared with 91% in 2010 and 92% in 2014.

Environmental protection costs*

in € million/year

Graphic: Environmental protection costs in € million/year
*Volkswagen AG production locations in Germany.

Environmental protection costs*

in € million/vehicle

Graphic: Environmental protection costs in € million/vehicle
*Volkswagen AG production locations in Germany.

The environmental protection costs for Volkswagen AG’s locations in Germany are reported here.

Expenditure on environmental protection measures is broken down into capital expenditure and operating costs for production-related environmental protection. Of the total capital expenditure, only those items that are solely or predominantly dedicated to environmental protection are classified as capital expenditure for environmental protection. A distinction is made between additive and integrated capital expenditure. Additive environmental protection measures are separate plants isolated from the remainder of the production process. They may be located upstream or downstream of the production process. By contrast, integrated measures mitigate environmental impacts during the production process.

The reported operating costs refer solely to production-related environmental protection measures that protect the environment from harmful impacts by avoiding, reducing or eliminating emissions by the Company. They may, for example, include the operating cost of plant and equipment intended to protect the environment, as well as expenditure on measures unrelated to plant and equipment.

Plants in the vicinity of nature conservation areas

Plant Distance (km) Area* (ha)
Braunschweig (D): Oker 0.8 53
Poznań, Logistics (PL): Dolina Cybiny 2.7 30
Chemnitz (D): Zwönitz 2.5 21.3
Poznań, Foundry (PL): Fortyfikacje-w- Poznańiu 6.7 40
Dresden (D): Mühlberg 1 8.3
Poznań, Production (PL): Dolina Cybiny 0.6 40
Ehra-Lessien (D): Vogelmoor 3.9  
Mlada Boleslav, Production (CZ): Radouci 1.2 212
Emden (D) 0.9 400
Vrachlabi, Production (CZ): Krkonose 1.1 23
Hanover (D): Leine 0.75 118
Kvasiny, Production (CZ): Uh inov-Benàtky 5 42
Ingolstadt (D): Training ground 3.8 200
Martin, Components (SK): Malá Fatra < 5 12.4
Kassel (D): Fuldatal 1.6 280
Bratislava, Production (SK): Moravy < 2 178
Leipzig (D): Tannenwald, Strohgäu 0 20
Palmela, Production (POR): Arrabida 3.5 24.5
Neckarsulm (D): Jagst, Kocher 0.1 95
Barcelona, Production (ES): Llobregat 3.6 39.3
Osnabrück (D): Mausohr, Belm 5.45 36.1
Martorell, FE, Production (ES): Llobregat 0.85 800
Salzgitter (D): Heerter See 7.5 280
Pamplona, Production (ES): Pena de Etxauri 15 163
Stuttgart (D): Max-Eyth-See 0.75 28.8
Prat, Components (ES): Llobregat 0.7 15.5
Weissach (D): Enztal, Stuttgarter Bucht 0.05 84.9
Brussels, Production (B): Verrewinkel- Kinsendael 3 44
Wolfsburg (D): Barnbruch 0.2 800
Györ, Components (HU): Göny i homokvidék < 1 30
Zwickau (D): Zwickauer Muldetal 0.1 180
Crewe (UK): West Midlands Moor 5.7  
Polkovice, Components (PL): Jelonek 7.9  
Polkovice, Sitech (PL): Jelonek 3.2  
 
*Area = Surface area of the production location.