CO₂ – the currency of the future

In the era of electric mobility, decarbonization is becoming a competitive advantage. How Audi is shrinking its corporate carbon footprint and why this is key to making itself future-proof – a look at the new “Consistently Audi” strategy.

01/29/2020 Copy: Franziska Hartung – Photos: AUDI AG Talking Business
Reading Time: 5 min

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Climate change concerns everyone

Climate change: probably the biggest challenge facing humankind in the 21st century. Audi acknowledges its responsibility and aims to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. The prerequisites for this vision are a clear objective, drive, and concerted action by the company. Audi expressly commits to the targets of the Paris Climate Accord.

Responsible actions will provide a competitive edge in the capital market



Environmental awareness is on the rise – not just in society and in political circles, but also increasingly in the capital market. “The stock market tells us where the future is happening,” comments the value-oriented asset manager and CEO of Globalance Bank, Reto Ringger, in conversation with Audi CEO Bram Schot. “Stocks are bought because investors think that companies can tackle the new business, social and ecological challenges and quickly adapt their business model.” While revenue and EBIT were the measure of all things on the stock market until a few years ago, the picture today is more diverse. That is reflected in the growing relevance worldwide of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions.

ESG stands for responsible actions with a positive environmental and social impact. According to an article in Forbes magazine an estimated 20 trillion dollars is now invested in products that meet ESG criteria – with the tendency rising sharply! By using the carbon footprint as a key figure, sustainability becomes measurable and assailable for businesses. Audi is systematically shrinking its carbon footprint in order to safeguard its competitiveness. But above all as a demonstration of its social responsibility.

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Driving to a more sustainable future

Innovation has always been at the heart of everything we do, but now it’s about taking progress in a new direction. Learn more about our path to a more sustainable mobility.

Power consumption combined*: 23.9–20.6 kWh/100km (NEFZ); 26.3–21.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂-emissions combined*: 0 g/km

The vision: carbon neutrality as part of Audi DNA

Audi looks at the entire life cycle of its models, starting from supply chain and production, through utilization, right up to recycling. Audi is to have entirely carbon-neutral 2 operations by no later than 2050.

From the present perspective, electric mobility is a vital key to climate-neutral, clean mobility. The Audi e-tron therefore marks the start of the four rings’ drive to electrify: Audi will present twelve electrified models by the end of 2020, including five electric cars and seven plug-in hybrids. By 2025, this will be 30 electrified models.

Audi stands to benefit here from its experience in developing the Audi e-tron. Audi will already start scaling up production with the Audi e-tron Sportback, thus ramping up the rate.

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Insights from the Audi e-roadmap: From the premium compact car segment to the full-size class

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The Audi e-tron stands for the move into electric mobility. The world premiere was in the United States in September 2018. The Audi e-tron is a pioneer of the new era. Audi will present a total of twelve electrified models by the end of 2020, including five electric cars and seven plug-in hybrids.
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Power consumption combined*: 24.3–21.0 kWh/100km (NEFZ); 26.6–22.4 kWh/100km (WLTP) CO₂-emissions combined*: 0 g/km
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The Audi e-tron GT concept shows how sporty and desirable electric mobility can be.
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The Audi e-tron Sportback as a dynamic digital SUV coupe with a capacity of up to 300 kW.
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Power consumption combined*: 23.9–20.6 kWh/100km (NEFZ); 26.3–21.6 kWh/100km (WLTP) CO₂-emissions combined*: 0 g/km
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The Audi Q4 e-tron concept is a prime example of a premium product based on the modular electrification group platform (MEB).
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In terms of its drive to electrify, Audi is focusing on consistently upgrading its PHEV range. The company presented the plug-in-hybrid models Q5 TFSIe, A6 L TFSI e, A7 Sportback TFSI e, and the A8 L TFSI to the general public at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
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Q5 TFSI e: Consumption combined*: petrol 2.4–2.0 l/100km | power 19.1–17.5 kWh/100km (WLTP)
CO₂-emissions combined*: 54–46 g/km

A6 Limousine TFSI e: Consumption combined*: petrol 2.1–1.7 l/100km | power 17.9–16.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)
CO₂-emissions combined*: 47–39 g/km

A7 Sportback TFSI e: Consumption combined*: petrol 2.1–1.8 l/100km | power 18.1–16.6 kWh/100km (WLTP)
CO₂-emissions combined*: 48–40 g/km

A8 L TFSI e: Consumption combined*: petrol 2.7–2.5 l/100km | power 21.2–20.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)
CO₂-emissions combined*: 61–57 g/km

The new currency of CO₂

“In the future, we will consistently prioritize our product portfolio according to capital value and CO₂ contribution.”

- Bram Schot, CEO AUDI AG

The electric initiative is a huge financial commitment, because the price of the batteries means the product costs of electric and electrified vehicles are (still) comparatively high. Nevertheless, it is clear that the focus on electric mobility will pay dividends because combustion-engine vehicles will get significantly more expensive by 2021 at the latest, when the new EU-wide fleet target for carbon emissions comes into force. It will limit emissions of carbon dioxide per car to 95 grams per kilometer. Manufacturers that overstep this limit will have a bill to pay: 95 euros per car for every gram above that figure. So CO₂ comes with a price tag. For Audi, that means CO₂ will be considered more closely in product costing, making it an active cost factor. This acts as a penalty on the product margin of combustion-engine vehicles with higher carbon emissions, and as a bonus on low-emission electric cars. Such a mechanism provides the right internal incentives for developing more environment-friendly vehicles.

Carbon-neutral right across the board: a pioneering role for Brussels within the Group

The Audi Brussels plant is the first accredited carbon-neutral site of the four rings, and within the Group it serves as the pioneer for decarbonizing production: Audi already switched to green power there back in 2012, and 95 percent of the energy consumed now comes from renewable sources. Where it is unable to avoid emissions, Audi Brussels employs what is known as carbon credit projects.

What has already become a reality in Brussels is set to happen at all other plants throughout the Audi Group network by the middle of the next decade. For example, the Hungarian plant in Győr will likewise achieve carbon-neutral production as soon as next year.

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Environmental Management 03/15/2018
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MISSION:ZERO

Emission-neutral production is becoming reality. The Audi plant in Brussels is showing how it is done – and making an important contribution to sustainability in the process.

Talking Business - Key Facts

Less CO₂ means more sustainable mobility

- Audi sees a competitive advantage in operating sustainably as the basis of economic activity. As part of the new “Consistently Audi” strategy, the strategic goals therefore include sustainability. One vision is carbon-neutral2 mobility, where the entire life cycle of a vehicle is considered.

- When costing up its products, Audi gives CO₂ a price tag. This figure acts as a penalty on the product margin of combustion-engine vehicles with higher carbon emissions, and as a bonus on electric cars. Audi therefore creates compelling internal incentives for both the product and finances to develop more environment-friendly vehicles.

- The Audi e-tron serves as the blueprint for sustainable premium mobility.This vehicle,
the brand’s first fully electric model, is built in the carbon-neutral plant2 at the Brussels site. Audi will use the findings from its manufacture to bring new electric models to market faster and achieve carbon-neutral2 production in all Audi plants by mid-way through the next decade. Audi will have entirely carbon-neutral2 operations by no later than 2050.

- Audi is promoting the electrification of the product lines with even greater intensity. It aims to have 20 electric models in circulation by as early as 2025.

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Let’s talk business

The numbers have to be right. But it takes backgrounds to make the transformation of Audi tangible. Strategic. Substantiated. Compact. Here we are Talking Business.
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