Volkswagen’s blue is now proudly tinged green as the South African arm of the company has been honoured with an international Lean & Green Management award. 

“At Volkswagen Group South Africa, lean and green is a way of life,” says Ulrich Schwabe, VWSA’s Production Director. “That is why we are honoured to receive the Lean & Green Management Award, in recognition of our efforts.

“Our achievements are the result of every employee sharing our commitment and we are thankful that we have been able to do our part in building a more environmentally sustainable future, for our company and our community.”

The annual awards, which is an initiative of the German-based T&O Group, evaluates all participating companies in terms of sustainability and lean management and 130 companies participated in the 2023 iteration of the awards.

VWSA’s Kariega plant received the overall award for the Automotive OEM category. In the feedback received from the jury, VWSA was praised for its 2Y24 Production and Logistics strategy, which incorporates lean working and environmental initiatives as priorities. 

Among the strengths listed in the Lean evaluation were the company’s value stream mapping process, long-term planning, and its Shop Floor Management system for swift reporting and problem-solving in the production environment. The judges also commended the company for its focus on resource management, particularly water and energy, and its waste reduction projects in Production. 

VWSA’s environmental projects range from a wastewater recycling facility and rainwater harvesting to solar panels on the roof of its Final Assembly building, to a proactive biodiversity roadmap. As part of their Zero Impact Factory environmental management programme, VWSA achieved the following reductions in 2022 (compared to the baseline set in 2010):

  • 49% reduction in energy use
  • 52% reduction in CO? emissions
  • 68% reduction in water use
  • 73% reduction in waste
  • 32% reduction in solvent emissions
  • 53,4% reduction in overall environmental impact

Colin Windell – proudly CHANGECARS