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Volkswagen 'greener than Toyota'



Professional Engineering

Ben Hargreaves

4 February 2013


PA is quoted in Professional Engineering about the findings from its benchmarking study of five global automotive companies. The study assessed the companies’ sustainability credentials and concluded that from the sample of five, Volkswagen is greener than Toyota.

Commenting on the study, PA explains: “Nobody has really studied automotive companies in this way, looking at the entire value chain, and savings of energy, water and greenhouse gases. The product element is important – 70% of the companies' overall score comes from the product portfolio, but we also looked at sustainability strategy – how it is formulated and communicated, and how it is anchored within the organisation – and we also looked at some of the operational results, how much energy and water was saved last year compared to the year before, for example. So it's not only the cars – but the cars have a big role.”

PA explains Toyota’s positioning: “I was a little bit surprised that Toyota didn't come out on top overall but we could see it still had some room for improvement, especially in the strategy area. They have many more green cars on the road obviously. But you need to take into account the impact of the earthquake and tsunami on their operational performance.”

Explaining what each automotive company currently does and what they could do in the future, PA says: “Carmakers could improve their sustainability in part by more effectively communicating the good things they did. Volkswagen had a clear top-down sustainability strategy that everyone within the firm worked towards.

“It was difficult to pick a clear winner across all three categories. It turned out that some of them were good at strategy and others better at product portfolio – Toyota, for example. Others were good at operational performance, such as Peugeot Citroën.”

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