Close your eyes and imagine: Leaves rustling in the tree tops, bees buzzing about, and from slightly more distant you detect the sound of water bubbling in a stream. You take a breath and smell meadow flowers. The sun’s rays warm your head and a breeze plays in your hair. Your heart calms, your mind relaxes, and a contented smile spreads across your face. Do you feel it? We love nature and realize very well how much we are connected to it. Nature nurtures us, liberates us, and refreshes us. That means we should treat nature with the greatest respect.
GREEN FROM THE START
The transition to clean electromobility constitutes just a part of the effort to reduce the automotive industry’s environmental impact. It all begins with the manufacture of the car itself. The very breadth of manufacturing operations means there are plentiful opportunities for finding ways to save and boost efficiency. Often it only takes a small change to bring great improvements through synergy effects. For example, the mere replacement of flat nozzles with more efficient round ones in all machining tools and industrial washers can save 70,000 m3 of compressed air per day.
Additional energy is saved by installing indoor lighting systems using energy-efficient lightbulbs and motion sensors and switching idle manufacturing robots to stand-by to minimize their electricity consumption. Greater efficiency of manufacturing tools can be achieved, too, by refining the filtering of hydraulic fluids. Such small improvements then support large changes, such as installing air conditioning control systems and compressors with more environmentally friendly operation. The result of all measures to improve efficiency is to save energy sufficient to supply a small city with several thousand households.
ŠKODA AUTO’s environmental protection strategy stands on three pillars: developing environmentally friendly cars (GreenProduct), care in the sales and service network (GreenRetail), and production operations (GreenFactory). Activities directed to reducing environmental impacts of production plants and logistics focus on:
- reducing energy consumption
- reducing emissions of CO2 and other gases
- reducing waste materials production
- reducing consumption of natural and other resources
EVER SEEN A GREEN ZEBRA?
The GreenZ.E.B.R.A. programme supports ŠKODA employees in proposing energysaving measures and rewards the best of these. Already since 2013, this initiative has seen more than 240 such measures implemented and yielded total savings exceeding CZK 21 million.
THE AUTOMOBILE LIFE CYCLE
Great attention is dedicated to reducing environmental demands of car production and operation, but this does not end once a car is definitively retired from service. A customer may then hand the car over at no charge to one of selected ŠKODA sales and service partners who will attend to its environmentally friendly disposal. Tyres, electronics, and car batteries can be handled in the same way.
To prevent the Earth from being quickly covered with junk cars, such materials and construction procedures are proposed already in designing the building of a new vehicle so that after the end of its service a car can be reused as efficiently as possible. Almost all materials used in production can be recycled or used for energy production, thereby reducing to a minimum the amount of waste produced.
A part of these recycled materials end up back in production. Thus, an old vehicle helps to bring a new one into the world, thereby closing the automobile life cycle.
The manufacturer must demonstrate the recyclability rate for a newly produced vehicle during official approval.
A TREE FOR EVERY CAR
Care for the environment also includes its betterment. Therefore, one tree is planted for each ŠKODA car sold in the Czech Republic. Since 2007, an incredible 640,000 trees have thus been planted in more than 50 Czech cities and towns. ŠKODA employees, students, and other volunteers are to be thanked for their help.
LISTEN TO VOICE OF THE NATURE
And this brings us right back to where we began – to nature. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a forest. Absorb its ambience, listen to its voice. Better still, why not turn off your computer, lock your apartment, and set out on a trip?