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SEAT achieves best sustainability results in its history

Posted on 06 Jun 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 499 times.
SEAT achieves best sustainability results in its history SEAT Martorel facility

Spanish automotive manufacturer SEAT S.A. achieved the best sustainability results in its history in 2023, thanks to the effectiveness of its strategic projects in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas. The company has reduced the environmental impact of its facilities in Martorell, Barcelona and El Prat by 53% since 2010, by improving its production processes. In the last year, it has also implemented wellness and diversity programmes that had a direct impact on the entire workforce, in addition to strengthening the governance structure.

Markus Haupt, SEAT’s executive vice president for production and logistics, said: “Sustainability is a key pillar of SEAT’s corporate strategy and is at the heart of the transformation process we are undergoing towards electrification. We aimed to reduce the environmental impact in the specific area of production by 50% by 2025, something we have already achieved. We are now moving forward to achieve carbon neutrality at our facilities by 2040, in line with the Volkswagen Group’s (VW) strategy.”

In 2010, the company first started to measure key factors that allowed it to understand the real footprint of its processes and implement efficient improvement programmes. SEAT S.A.’s results in five key indicators in the production process, established by VW, are the best recorded by the company in its history, and the environmental impact of its centres in Martorell, Barcelona and El Prat has been reduced to less than half in this period.

Firstly, energy consumption has been reduced by 33% since 2010 through efficiency measures and organisational improvements, which the company continues to focus on. Regarding electricity, all consumption has come from 100% renewable sources since 2012. Secondly, the 69% reduction in carbon emissions achieved since 2010 sets the way forward over the coming years. In line with the VW’s decarbonisation targets, SEAT S.A. will achieve carbon neutrality in all its facilities by 2040 and for the entire company by 2050.

Continuous improvement

Reducing water consumption has also been a priority in recent years, and even more so in recent months, as the Catalonia area has experienced a severe drought. SEAT S.A. has reduced the water consumption needed to produce a car at its facilities by 45% since 2010. The company has also adopted measures to optimise processes, as well as working on future actions focused on installing more efficient technologies and promoting water recirculation. The latest indicators focus on waste generation, which is sent to treatment facilities for disposal, and solvent emissions. Both have been reduced, by 78% and 45%, respectively, since 2010.

SEATSEAT’s journey towards sustainability seeks to ensure continuous improvement that has a short- and long-term impact. In line with this objective, in recent months the company has launched key projects such as SEAT al Sol 2. From 2025, the facilities will have 39,000 solar panels on a surface area of 233,000m2 across its factories in Martorell, El Prat and Barcelona, which will generate 29GWh per hour, tripling SEAT’s capacity to self-generate renewable energy.

Furthermore, SEAT started the installation of the VW’s first 100% electric paint drying oven in Martorell in 2023, which has recently come into operation. It is a highly efficient solution that minimises heat loss and reduces energy consumption by 25%, which means savings of 2,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to more than 550 combustion cars running for a year. This project has been financed by the European Union (EU) with next-generation EU funds through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

SEAT puts people at the centre of all its strategies. In 2023, among other initiatives, a new Equality Plan was approved, which includes more than 60 measures that promote and consolidate diversity and inclusion. These incorporate a new protocol against sexual harassment and harassment based on sex, gender orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression in the workplace.

In the area of health, SEAT looks after the well-being of its workforce and that of the VW Group through services provided by CARS (Health Care and Rehabilitation Centre) and the different actions contemplated in the mental health plan. Last year, more than 159,000 health activities were carried out, in addition to reaching the lowest accident rate in the history of SEAT for the second consecutive year.

In 2023, SEAT strengthened its capacity to lead and innovate in sustainability through the training plan framed in the Future: Fast Forward project. The company offered more than 100,000 hours of training opportunities to its workforce, providing the necessary skills to address current and future challenges. In the context of SEAT’s transformation, the goal is to reach 500,000 hours of training for all staff.