Sports car maker Porsche has received a Platinum Award from the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen, DGNB) for its Leipzig plant.

The facility, which covers 427 ha, was assessed in 28 categories involving 167 criteria, including environmental protection, biodiversity, energy management and its effect on the local urban environment.

The award marks the second time a Porsche factory has won the DGNB’s Platinum certificate. In 2017, parts of the brand’s main plant at Zuffenhausen received similar status. Christine Lemaitre, CEO of the DGNB, says the car maker set high sustainability targets for its construction projects – and then met them consistently and transparently.

Zero-impact factory

Further, the company has revealed grand sustainability plans for the future: “Our vision is a zero-impact factory – we don’t want our production facilities to leave an ecological footprint,” says Albrecht Reimold, member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics.

He says that, since 2014, Porsche has cut vehicle-specific CO2 emissions caused by production by more than 75 percent and reduced energy consumption for each vehicle produced by more than 30 percent. Water consumption has been cut by about 20 percent. During the same period, the use of solvents has been cut by a third.

Christine Lemaitre, CEO at DGNB, hands over the organisation’s Platinum Award to Albrecht Reimold, member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche, and Gerd Rupp, chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche Leipzig.

Quantifiable and transparent sustainability

“We stand by the climate-protection targets agreed on in Paris in December 2015 and have a clear responsibility to cut environmentally harmful emissions. Our aim in terms of sustainability significantly exceeds mere decarbonisation,” Reimold explains.

“We want to make sustainability at Porsche quantifiable and report it transparently, and awards like this are an important part of that,” he adds.

A view of Porsche’s Safari Park, near its factory in Leipzig, featuring an animal and plant educational facility for children.

Examples of sustainable vehicle production

Since its establishment 19 years ago, the Leipzig plant has been regarded as one of the world’s most cutting-edge, sustainable automotive factories.

Production is fully powered by regenerative energy sources, including photovoltaic systems, which supply power to the Macan and Panamera body shops, and a biomass plant to meet the requirements of a state-of-the-art paint shop.

Since 2015, energy efficiency measures have saved a total of 23,3 GWh of power.

The paint shop uses a rock meal filter system as part of a dry separator to collect unavoidable paint overspray.

In line with a Green Logistics theme, Porsche operates its railway transportation with ecologically produced power, increasingly uses electric logistics vehicles, and has set up energy-efficient shuttle technology at a new, automated small parts warehouse.

Compared with conventional small parts warehouses, the facility saves 676 t of CO2 annually.

Holistic approach

Production is not the only area of Porsche’s focus on sustainability. The manufacturer has implemented a unique children’s safari concept on its 132-ha off-road facility in Leipzig, which offers insights into plant and animal life.

The environmental education project forms part of the company’s extensive corporate social responsibility commitments in culture, sports, education and social projects.

“Acting sustainably means acting responsibly in terms of our staff, the local population around our sites and society as a whole,” says Gerd Rupp, chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche Leipzig.

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