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Audi announces environmental initiatives

The green car race really is on, as Audi releases a statement about its improving environmental credentials, just as awards BMW its Greenest Manufacturer of the Year title.

Audi has announced that it is planting 36,000 oak trees to create a CO2 “reservoir” as part of a wide-reaching efficiency initiative.

Forming the basis of the ‘Oak Forest CO2 Reservoir’ project, the trees cover six hectares in Kosching, near the Audi manufacturing facility in Ingolstadt, Germany, and are the first of a planned series of forestation schemes funded by Audi.

Almost completely destroyed in 2007 by bark beetles, drought and severe storms, the Kösching Forest has been replanted with 36,000 young Pedunculate Oaks with funding from Audi in conjunction with the Bavarian State Forestry and the Chair of Forest Yield Science at the Technical University of Munich. The revitalised forest provides a diverse biosphere for a wide variety of animal and plant species, and can also store large amounts of carbon.

The Kösching Forest project will lead to several others on sites with different climatic conditions. Another trial site with an area of four hectares at the Audi production site in Györ, Hungary, will be planted with more than 13,000 Pedunculate Oaks. Plans are underway for additional sites at international locations.

Audi is also keen to remind us that it has 33 models worldwide whose average CO2 emissions are below 140g/km and that its fleet CO2 emissions will be reduced by an additional 20 per cent by 2012.

Audi engineers are working hard on green engine technology; Audi’s TDI clean diesel has an ultra-low emission system which drastically reduces nitrogen oxides in the exhaust, making it the world’s cleanest diesel. The company is also now using a recuperation system for the recovery of electrical energy during braking and coasting.

In addition, Audi has many initiatives in place to make its manufacturing greener.

So we look forward to a closely-run contest for the Greenest Manufacturer of the Year Award next year between Audi and current award-winner BMW in particular, in addition to many other manufacturers who are demonstrating more commitment to improvements in sustainability.