Carbon Neutrality in Vrchlabí
At its Vrchlabí production facility, ŠKODA AUTO presented new measures to Czech journalists
n 5 and 6 October, ŠKODA AUTO presented to Czech journalists the measures that have helped the Vrchlabí plant achieve CO2-neutral production. More than 20 media representatives listened to the expert presentations by Miroslav Kroupa, Head of PS – Brand Management, Lenka Bočková, Head of PSU – Environmental and Work Protection, and Ivan Slimák, Plant Manager of the Vrchlabí plant. This was followed by a tour of the most important measures directly on site (see the Twelve Measures column). They illustrate how the Vrchlabí plant has reduced its emissions and increased process efficiency. Last year, 41,500 MWh of its total energy consumption of 47,000 MWh already came from renewable sources, which corresponds to a share of more than 90 percent. Its carbon dioxide emissions have fallen from 45,000 tonnes to 3,000 tonnes per year. The plant offsets its remaining CO2 emissions by purchasing offset certificates to support projects that help to protect the climate. “Thanks to the CO2 neutrality of our high-tech factory in Vrchlabí, we’re setting the direction and showing the way towards energy effectiveness”, says Miroslav Kroupa, Head of PS – Brand Management. Effective energy management has enabled the Vrchlabí plant to save more than 2,000 MWh of thermal energy and almost 1,500 MWh of electrical energy in the past year alone. ED
Thanks to the modification of the conveyor for turning and drilling operations, where the plant has implemented the principle of gravity separation of the residual emulsion, this emulsion returns to the machine at no additional cost.
By systematically monitoring and preventively maintaining the hydraulic oil in its machines, the plant reduces the amount consumed and prevents hazardous waste generation.
Electrostatic cleaning extends the life of oil and, thus, reduces not only how much is consumed but also the amount of hazardous waste.
New thermal insulation of hardening lines reduces the energy consumption of case-hardening furnaces.
The end of the demanding nine-bar compressed air production was achieved by rebuilding two machines that now operate at six bars.
New controlled air exchange equipment in the halls reduces energy consumption.
Implementation of quality management of waste sorting according to the Waste Management Information System standard.
Equipment for pressing grinding sludge from the filtering station allows filtered oil to be re-used in production.
9 Pumping cutting oil from the bottom of the central filtration station tanks reduces hazardous waste generation. In addition, some oil can be re-used.
The installation of equipment used for industrial evaporation by boiling reduced the amount of hazardous waste.
By replacing the original batteries in the material handling machines with lithium batteries, the plant significantly saves energy and reduces CO2.
By using condensation fluid, the plant has reduced its consumption of water and detergent.
WE HAVE AN OPEN DIALOGUE ON SUSTAINABILITY
wo years ago, the carmaker introduced its new company-wide sustainability strategy programme based on three pillars: environmental, social and economic-administrative. In the context of ŠKODA AUTO’s new strategy, which has sustainability as one of its main items, and the rapid development of trends in the automotive industry coupled with the growing importance of the sustainability agenda, this programme has to be updated. The sustainability strategy should reflect current trends, like our production and products reaching carbon neutrality more quickly, as well as the trends in corporate social responsibility or reporting. Our structured dialogue with the stakeholders helps us to determine the important so-called material topics. Stakeholders include all persons or organisations that influence or are influenced by the company’s operation: our employees, customers, business partners, government representatives, media, the KOVO Trade Union, communities and others. ”During their interviews, they are presented with a list of topics that are important from our perspective and are asked to prioritise them from the stakeholder’s perspective. They are also encouraged to give for suggestions for new topics to focus on. The result – the so-called materiality matrix – shows the intersection between topics reflecting the interests of our company and stakeholders, which will become one of the important inputs for the new sustainability strategy”, says Libor Boček from the GSC – Corporate Strategy and Innovation Management department. By mapping and trying to understand our stakeholders’ expectations, the trust of various stakeholders in our company’s operations is built. Aligning corporate interests and understanding the expectations of the environment is part of responsible business, which contributes to the company’s success. ED
Do you wish to get involved as well?
Our employees themselves will be able to have their say in our sustainability strategy for the next period. The GSC is going to reach out to them for this purpose with its call to action on ŠKODA Space.