Environmental thinking permeates Saab Automobile

Posted on 03. Apr, 2001 by in 2000-2009

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2001-04-03

Environmental Class 1, energy savings, recycling, environmentally appropriate product development …

Environmental thinking permeates Saab Automobile

* Energy consumption cut by 25 percent over ten years.
* From 2002, no combustible materials will be dumped – everything will be sorted and recycled.
* From 2003, new contracts will be concluded only with suppliers who conform to the same environmental demands as Saab Automobile.
* Saab now produces five Environmental Class 1 variants instead of only one.

Saab Automobile is one of the world’s first car makers to have product development, purchasing and production grouped under the same environmental management certificate to the ISO 14001 international standard.

“The demands for this way of certification are much stricter,” says Bo SwanZr, Environmental Manager at Saab Automobile. “Due to this collective approach, environmental thinking permeates the whole of the company. All sectors of the company pull in the same direction. Raw materials and other resources are used more efficiently, and suppliers follow the same path.”

The environmental impact of the factories and cars is being reduced by the steady improvements to the environmental work on all fronts. Steady improvements are a long-term undertaking and a focal element in the certification. Measurable targets are continually being followed up and matched to new targets.

One objective was to have one Environmental Class 1 car variant that has a lower environmental impact and merits lower vehicle tax for the car owner. This has already been surpassed, since we now have five Saab variants with this classification. The EU environmental demands on emissions and fuel consumption must obviously also be met.

“The target we will attain by the turn of the year is to have reduced the company’s energy consumption by a total of 25 percent over a ten-year period,” says Bo SwanZr. “From the same date, all combustible waste will be sorted and recycled instead of being dumped.”

Environmentally harmful waste and solvent emissions are continually being reduced.

“Our attitude towards solvents in the factory is the same as the attitude most people have to them at home. Water-based paints are much less harmful to the environment and human health. In addition, we do our best to work smartly in order to minimize waste, and we plan our production so that the we use a minimum amount of paint.”

A maximum of the raw materials we use must go into the product and a minimum is to go to waste. This results in lower costs and more efficient use of existing resources. The same principle is applied in Saab product development.

“A design that’s right first time is the key to the minimum possible environmental impact during the entire life cycle of the product,” says Lars Olsson, who is in charge of the Technical Development Department. “This influences the entire chain from development and production, up to regular use and recycling. Moreover, environmental thinking cuts costs and improves efficient use of resources in the company.”

ISO certification also affects the suppliers. From 2003, all new contracts will be concluded only with suppliers who have approved ISO 14001 environmental management systems. This will assure Saab Automobile of the greatest possible observance of environmental issues.

For further information, please phone
Bo Swanér, tel nos: +46 520 85415 (direct line) or
+46 705 28 11 91 (mobile)

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