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Earth Day 2021: seven ways Porsche is leading the sustainability charge

Sustainability is top of the agenda at Porsche

As we look to the future, Porsche has ambitious plans that are already in motion

The threat of climate change is real and demands urgent action today. With the world consuming more resources than it can naturally produce, businesses need to find innovative and immediate solutions to tackle it.

It’s a responsibility that Porsche takes very seriously. With our clear focus on electric mobility and achieving CO2-neutral emissions, we are already making progress. But there is still much to be done. As the world comes together to celebrate Earth Day 2021, here are just some of the things that Porsche is doing to help speed up the transformational change that this planet needs in order to secure our future.

Woman walking across street at night, Porsche car behind
The manufacturing process of the Porsche Taycan has been CO2-neutral since its launch in 2019

1. Porsche aims for a CO2-neutral balance sheet in 2030

In December 2015, 196 countries around the world signed an international treaty – known as the Paris Agreement – that aims to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Porsche takes its responsibility for cutting environmentally harmful emissions seriously and is committed to the climate protection targets agreed in Paris.

How is it doing that? By launching an ambitious decarbonisation programme that has set a target of 2030 for Porsche to achieve a CO2-neutral balance sheet across its entire value chain. This programme, which will avoid and reduce CO2 emissions, makes Porsche a real pioneer in the automotive industry. “The EU talks about 2050, many competitors about 2040, but it’s not about record times, it’s about responsibility. Every step counts,” says Oliver Blume, chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG.

2. A future where 80 per cent of Porsche cars have electric motors in 2030

Porsche has a clear focus on the benefits of electric mobility for everyone on planet Earth. In 2025, half of all new Porsche models will already have an electric motor and, in 2030, the aim is to increase that share to more than 80 per cent. The Taycan, the company’s first all-electric sports car, highlights the extent to which the company’s product strategy is geared towards electric mobility.

Porsche customers now demand that their vehicles can be driven, as well as produced, as sustainably as possible. As a dynamic manufacturer with a global reputation for innovation, becoming more and more efficient and producing cars that are efficient is key. Which is why a drive towards greater electric mobility is its bold plan for the future.

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo parked on the street
The use of sustainable materials – like the recycled fibres used on the floor of the Taycan – is on the increase

3. CO2-neutral Taycan production

The production of the all-electric Porsche Taycan has been CO2 neutral since it was launched in 2019. In fact, today both of the company’s German factories are now CO2 neutral. Porsche achieved that through the maximum avoidance and reduction of carbon emissions. Only when these two options have been fully exhausted does the sports car manufacturer use carefully selected carbon off-setting measures.

“Our objective is not merely to produce a CO2-neutral zero-emissions car, but rather to ensure that we do not leave any environmental footprint at all,” says Albrecht Reimold, member of the Executive Board for production and logistics at Porsche, of the company’s pursuit of a vision for a ‘zero-impact factory’.

Women walking along the sidewalk next to shadow of Taycan
Porsche has set an ambitious target of 2030 to be fully CO2 neutral across its value chain

4. Produced from 100 per cent renewable energy

Since 2017, Porsche is using certified electricity from renewable energy at all its production facilities. All the electricity used in the building is from renewable sources while new buildings are energy efficient. The company generates heat in its own combined heat and power (CHP) plants, which are operated with biogas produced from residual materials and waste.

Over at the Leipzig factory, the German Sustainable Building Council has presented it with its highest award – the Platinum certificate – as an exceptionally sustainable industrial site. It is fully powered by renewable energy sources, including using photovoltaic plants that produce the equivalent of 4380 megawatt hours each year, which is used in the making of Panamera and Macan bodies. The production plant in Zuffenhausen has been CO2 neutral since 2020, while the facilities in Leipzig and Weissach joined them in this landmark achievement at the beginning of 2021.

What’s also crucial is the car’s electricity usage over its lifecycle and, with the Taycan Cross Turismo, Porsche has reached another important milestone – it’s our first vehicle that will be CO2-neutral throughout its use phase. As part of that, over the next 10 years, Porsche will invest more than one billion euros globally in wind turbines, solar energy and other climate protection measures.

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo being charged
Battery cell suppliers for the Porsche Taycan are committed to using sustainable energy in their manufacture

5. A sustainable supply chain means a sustainable Porsche

In order to fully achieve a carbon-neutral balance sheet by 2030, Porsche needs its supply chain partners to reduce their CO2 too. Since July 2019, a sustainability rating for Porsche suppliers is an important criterion when awarding contracts. Fulfillment of this so-called S-rating is mandatory for its direct partners. Today already more than 90 per cent of Porsche suppliers have a valid S-rating. Additionally, Porsche – together with other members of the Volkswagen Group – is working on the sustainability of all materials with a high-risk exposure along the supply chain. Therefore, potential risks in relation to their origin, production conditions and raw material extraction are evaluated. 

Another example of Porsche commitment to sustainability in the whole supply chain is participation in the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI). Mica is widely used in cosmetics and various industrial applications like paints. In October 2020 Porsche joined this cross-industry coalition of international companies and non-governmental organisations. Together, the RMI campaigns for transparency and improved working conditions along the mica value chain.

Beyond that, in order to increase the sustainability of our supply chain, Porsche is piloting a monitoring system called Prewave. It uses an intelligent algorithm and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify sustainability risks – such as environmental pollution, human rights abuses and corruption at an early stage. It’s not only direct business partners that are monitored, but it also happens at lower levels of their supply chain. This AI technology is capable of identifying and analysing supplier-related news from publicly available media and social networks in more than 50 languages and over 150 countries.

Woman walking across the street, two Porsche cars parked
In 2030, Porsche plans that more than 80 per cent of the cars it sells will have an electric motor

6. High-voltage battery cells are manufactured using sustainable energy

When it comes to developing energy-intensive items, like battery cells for example, Porsche demands that all suppliers must produce them exclusively with sustainable energy. “By obliging our suppliers to use sustainable energy, the carbon footprint will improve significantly,” says Oliver Blume. “And the battery itself will be more than 90 per cent recyclable in ten years, at the latest. At the same time, we will reduce polluting substances such as cobalt in batteries in the future.”

7. Recycled, renewable, recyclable: the future of Porsche materials

At Porsche, a successful journey towards CO2 neutrality and achieving sustainability requires more than the use of renewable energy and widespread adoption of electric mobility. In the case of the Taycan, for instance, Porsche offers an optional leather-free interior which uses materials made from recycled products and renewable raw materials.

Race-Tex, a microfibre material that partially contains recycled polyester fibres, is produced using 70 per cent less CO2 than traditional materials. Meanwhile, the floor covering of the Taycan uses Econyl®, a recycled fibre which is made from, among other things, recycled fishing nets.

Beyond that, in order to increase the sustainability of our supply chain, Porsche is piloting a monitoring system called Prewave. It uses an intelligent algorithm and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify sustainability risks – such as environmental pollution, human rights abuses and corruption at an early stage. It’s not only direct business partners that are monitored, but it also happens at lower levels of their supply chain. This AI technology is capable of identifying and analysing supplier-related news from publicly available media and social networks in more than 50 languages and over 150 countries.

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