Volkswagen's Chattanooga auto assembly plant is the first factory in the U.S. to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification, officials said today.
The $1 billion facility also is the first automotive manufacturing plant to achieve the top LEED badge, which represents the highest level of environmental performance recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Frank Fischer, chief executive of Volkswagen's Chattanooga operations, said the LEED platinum "is the fulfillment of a promise Volkswagen made...to this community to work in harmony with the environment."
At the plant, the paint shop alone will save 50 million gallons of water over the next decade. The plant is also about 40 percent more energy efficient than a typical manufacturing facility in America, Volkswagen officials said.
Dr. Jan Spies, head of factory planning for Volkswagen worldwide, said "the plant is very much the benchmark within Volkswagen."