Renault and McLaren winning race for CO2 reductions

8th November 2012

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Renault reveals it will save 200 tonnes of CO2 each year by installing large solar arrays, as the McLaren Group retains Carbon Trust Standard by curbing its carbon footprint

French carmaker Renault is installing arrays of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels covering 40 hectares of land across six of its sites in France.

The panels will cover car parks, delivery and shipping areas, and have been designed to help protect new cars from storm damage, as well as generate renewable energy.

The system, which is thought to be the largest installed by a car manufacturer, will generate more than 52,000 MWh of electricity each year and cut carbon emissions by 200 tonnes.

The new arrays form part of an international rollout of solar panels at Renault’s sites, with another 40 hectares of panels to be installed at its plants in Spain and South Korea. The firm is also investigating potentially installing the technology in Slovenia, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Romania.

Meanwhile, UK-based sports car maker and Formula 1 team McLaren confirmed it has retained its certification to the Carbon Trust Standard after cutting its carbon footprint by 9%, relative to its headcount, since 2010.

While expanding its operations, the McLaren Group has been able to save hundreds of tonnes of carbon each year by installing new, energy-saving technologies at its production facilities and the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking.

McLaren Racing has saved 300 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions annually through more energy-efficient simulation equipment, while new lighting at the MTC has cut the group’s overall emissions by 200 tonnes a year.

The firm has also installed heat recovery systems and uses a centralised system to ensure that air compressors and chillers are operating at optimum efficiency.

Martin Whitmarsh, chief operating officer of McLaren Group said that working against the requirements of the standard had helped the group to identify new areas to improve its carbon efficiency and save energy.

“While this achievement is an important marker for us, it is crucial that we recognise that the Carbon Trust Standard is an ongoing process. Reducing our carbon emissions and improving our energy efficiency represents a constantly moving target – and one that our whole company is committed to pursuing,” he said.

Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust commented: “McLaren Group’s achievement is clear evidence of the significant results in carbon reduction that can be delivered through senior sponsorship from the top and entrenched good practise throughout a business.

“McLaren Group’s carbon reduction relative to head count demonstrates that growth can be decoupled from carbon to grow your business without proportionally increasing emissions”.


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