Audi is taking a significant step towards sustainable production by introducing recycled glass windshields in its Audi Q4 e-tron vehicles. Through its “GlassLoop” project, Audi aims to establish a glass cycle that utilizes up to 30 percent recycled material from car windows that are damaged beyond repair, according to their recent press release.
This initiative marks a shift from downcycling, where such windows are used for less demanding purposes. Audi’s innovative process involves breaking down the windows into small pieces, eliminating non-glass elements, and melting the glass granulate to produce automotive plate glass. The goal is to incorporate a significant share of recycled material throughout the production life of the Audi Q4 e-tron.
The successful implementation of the “GlassLoop” project is a result of collaboration with partner companies such as Reiling Glas Recycling, Saint-Gobain Glass, and Saint-Gobain Sekurit. These companies have spent about a year testing and refining the recycling process to ensure the production of high-quality windshields for the Audi Q4 e-tron. By reusing car windows that can no longer be repaired, Audi reduces its overall raw material consumption and avoids downcycling.
“If we process car windows that can no longer be repaired so that they are suitable for automotive production again, we need less raw material overall and avoid downcycling car windows that can no longer be repaired,” explains Philipp Eder, Project Manager for Circular Economy in the Supply Chain at Audi. Ultimately, using processed glass granulate makes it possible to reduce the need for primary materials like quartz sand.
Recognizing the significance of the “GlassLoop” project, Audi has received the German Award for Sustainability Projects in the “Recycling Concept” category. This award acknowledges Audi’s commitment to sustainability and its efforts to establish material cycles that prioritize ecological and economic benefits. Audi’s Act4Impact program, which encompasses the “GlassLoop” project, aims to minimize the environmental impact of its supply chain and promote responsible practices.
Looking ahead, Audi plans to establish additional material cycles and increase the use of secondary materials wherever feasible. By recovering and reusing materials at a high level of quality, Audi aims to reduce the consumption of primary materials and minimize the environmental footprint of its products. The circular economy approach pursued by Audi ensures that materials retain their grade and quality, making them suitable for reuse within the auto industry.
To showcase its commitment to sustainability, Audi will be demonstrating diverse material cycles, including steel, aluminum, and plastic, at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL in Berlin from June 14 to 16. This festival, founded by sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg, brings together numerous exhibitors, speakers, and attendees to promote green innovations. Audi’s participation highlights its dedication to finding innovative solutions that prioritize environmental conservation.
In addition to its focus on material cycles, Audi supports various environmental initiatives through its Audi Environmental Foundation. These projects include coastal area remediation in the US, river and canal cleanup in Thailand, and the development of innovative filter modules for road drainage in collaboration with the Technical University of Berlin. By actively supporting these initiatives, Audi demonstrates its commitment to preserving ecosystems, reducing pollution, and promoting sustainable practices.
Audi’s sustainability efforts are not limited to specific events or projects. The company has implemented ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria throughout its operations, ensuring a comprehensive approach to sustainability, social responsibility, and corporate governance. To provide easy access to information about its sustainability initiatives, Audi has created a sustainability hub available on the Audi MediaCenter.
By integrating recycled glass windshields into its vehicles and pursuing various sustainability projects, Audi is making significant strides towards achieving its goal of net carbon neutrality at its production sites by 2050. Through initiatives like the “GlassLoop” project, Audi demonstrates its commitment to creating a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future for the automotive industry.