Brussels, Belgium – European auto manufacturers have significantly reduced the environmental impact of vehicle production in recent years, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

Per unit produced, energy consumption, CO2 emissions, waste, water use and volatile organic compounds (VOC) have all decreased. At industry level, results are also influenced by the number of vehicles produced, but in most cases, thanks to increased environmental efficiency, the rise in vehicle production from 2005 to 2007 was accompanied by a reduction of absolute emissions and consumption at the industry level.

The figures are for passenger car manufacturing at production sites in the EU27 (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom).

The ACEA reported that during the period, energy consumption per vehicle decreased by 6.5 per cent, including direct and indirect energy consumption from on-site and external energy suppliers; CO2 emissions per vehicle produced decreased by five per cent, mostly through efficiency increases and helped somewhat by a warm winter in 2007; the amount of waste per vehicle dropped by 4.8 per cent, not including scrap metal, which is recycled and used as a secondary raw material; water use per car produced declined by almost 23 per cent, through long-term strategies including recirculation technologies; and VOC emissions, mainly from paint shops, dropped by 14.3 per cent, thanks to new technologies such as water-based paints that replace solvent-based paints.

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