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VW has installed energy-saving lights at its new Chattanooga plant in the US (photo: VW)

Volkswagen wants to improve the sustainability of its car plants by 25 pc between 2010 and 2018.

The German carmaker said it will conserve energy, cut down on waste volumes, lower CO2 and other emissions and reduce its water consumption.

"By 2018, we intend to make production at all our plants 25 percent more environmentally compatible," said Hubert Waltl, head of production and logistics at Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

The VW Group, which wants to become the world's largest car group, believes more efficient and environmentally friendly production will give it a competitive advantage as its continues to expand globally.

VW's production plan is called "Think Blue. Factory." It will pool all environmental activities at VW plants worldwide. Said Werner Neubauer, head of components for the VW brand: "Our ambitious targets for sustainable vehicle production have now been defined in a way which is clear and comprehensible for our customers."

The program is an addition to VW's overall "Think Blue" strategy, which includes a portfolio of measures to boost production efficiency and expand environmentally aware energy supplies.