Chattanooga Volkswagen plant takes Edison Green Award

Chattanooga Volkswagen plant takes Edison Green Award

May 1st, 2012 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Steven Rodriguez examines sealed Passat bodies at the VW paint shop.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Name: Volkswagen's Chattanooga auto assembly plant

Location: Enterprise South industrial park

What: Gold 2012 Edison Green Award. It recognizes excellence, personified by Thomas Alva Edison, to inspire the drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy. The Green Award specifically recognizes the environmental and sustainability achievements at the Volkswagen factory. The 2012 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielsen, Discovery Communications, Science Channel, USA Today, CSRware and Applepeak.

How it's green: The manufacturing plant received platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program. The factory is the world's first auto manufacturing plant to win platinum certification. "All the factors that helped us win LEED helped us win the Green Award," said Guenther Scherelis, the factory's general manager of communication. These include efficiencies in the paint shop that save an estimated 20,000 gallons of water a day, 6-inch exterior wall insulation that cuts energy consumption by 35 percent and the use of rainwater for cooling and restrooms, according to VW.

About VW's effort: Jan Spies, head of plant structure planning for Volkswagen AG, said in a statement that the Chattanooga plant is a cornerstone for VW's worldwide "Think Blue. Factory" initiative. The effort is aimed at using resources more efficiently, saving energy and cutting emissions at all VW production sites. The automaker is targeting making its plants 25 percent more environmentally friendly by 2018.