Volkswagen Group reaffirmed its commitment to building fuel-efficient cars in sustainable factories as the German automaker celebrated the second anniversary of its "Think Blue. Factory" program.

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In early 2013, VW inaugurated a large solar park for its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Photo: VW)

VW's mission is "to deliver clean cars from clean factories," the group's production chief, Hubert Waltl, said at a meeting that was attended by more than 350 environmental experts from 27 VW plants.

VW launched its Think Blue environmental program in 2011 and has implemented more than half of 3,400 planned environmental measures across its global operations.

At the meeting at its headquarters Wolfsburg, Germany, VW honored some of the innovative ideas and measures proposed by and implemented at its far-flung plants. These included a new concept for part cleaning, new burner technologies for components production and measures for environmentally compatible sludge disposal from paint shops. Several other programs focused on the reduction of production waste and the re-use of a greater part of all materials. VW said it plans to focus on reducing fresh water consumption in its car plants in the coming year.

The "Think Blue. Factory." program has as its motto "More sustainability ”“ less environmental impact." The company has set as its goal to cut  waste production, water consumption and solvent and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 pc by 2018. The program is part of VW's "Think Blue" environmental  strategy, which aims to implement sustainability measures across all divisions.