Implementing the "Mission Zero" environmental program for the responsible use of natural resources and working on not only decarbonisation of production facilities, but also on water supply in facilities, Audi plans to stop using potable water in production by keeping water consumption to a minimum.
The brand, which will implement closed water cycle applications by ensuring process efficiency, also increases the use of rainwater. Audi plans to implement closed water loops at all production facilities in the future.
Drinking water is a valuable and scarce resource at a time when 2,2 billion people worldwide do not have regular access to clean water. The United Nations also predicts that the demand for drinking water may increase 2050 percent by 55. Such a scarce resource, as in many production, in automotive production; Used in paint shop or leak tests.
Audi is launching a new application with the aim of reducing the use of this resource, especially the consumption of potable fresh water, and halving the water consumption per vehicle produced by 2035. Audi, currently using used recycled water in its facilities many times, plans to have closed water cycles in all its production facilities.
Prioritizing water protection measures according to the regions where it produces, Audi accelerates the implementation of measures, especially in areas where water is relatively more valuable, taking into account the regional conditions. In this way, it aims to reduce the consumption of ecologically oriented water in production from approximately 2035 cubic meters per car produced until 3,75 to an average of 1,75 cubic meters.
When it comes to the most economical use of water as a resource, Audi Mexico is truly a pioneer facility. The facility is the first facility in the world to manufacture vehicles using completely waste water. The wastewater generated after production is firstly purified from heavy metals by chemical and physical improvement. It is then sent to the biological treatment center, where the water cleaned from organic wastes is finally subjected to filtration and other processes. The water, which is reused in production both in terms of hygiene and quality, is also used for irrigation of green areas.
Audi's Neckarsulm facilities also form a closed water cycle between the wastewater treatment plants belonging to the municipality of Unteres Sulmtal. Before building the loop and a new water supply facility, Audi tested the procedure with a pilot plant, collecting the water returning from the treatment plant to a built-in area in the factory building, filtering it and treating it for reuse. Continuously controlling the water quality throughout the process, Audi also measures the properties of treated water every two weeks with laboratory analysis. If the tests are successful, the construction of the new water supply facility is planned to begin in 2022 and the water cycle to close by 2025.
A new service water supply center is in use at Audi Ingolstadt. With the previous treatment system, on average half of the wastewater produced is fed into a circuit where it can be treated and reused. The facility treats waste water in three stages before it is reused in production. Thus, Audi saves 300 thousand cubic meters of fresh water per year.
In addition, Audi is using rainwater collection pools at multiple facilities to meet its water demand in the most resource-efficient way possible. The Audi Mexico factory has a water tank with a capacity of 240 cubic meters. Rainwater, which is collected and treated in the warehouse, which is filled during the rainy season, which lasts for about six months from May to October, is used at the factory. At Audi Ingolstadt, it uses underground rainwater retention pools to feed the rainwater as production water into the water loop at the facility. The facility uses 250 cubic meters of rainwater per year, depending on weather conditions.