Renault Group

Industry decarbonization: the path is set

07 June 2022
As the first carmaker to choose 100% electric vehicles for its Renault brand in Europe by 2030, Renault Group is making a significant contribution to reducing emissions in use. In addition to roads, the Group has set a course to reduce the carbon footprint of its plants and has made strong commitments to this end. World Environment Day, which was held on Sunday, June 5, was an opportunity to look back at the plan to reduce CO2 emissions from industrial sites implemented by Renault Group. Nicolas Estèbe, Director of Production Engineering Industrial Systems and Support in charge of this plan, tells us more about the roadmap and the actions already launched.
by Valérie Calloch

For the Renault brand, the path is all set: in Europe, by 2030, it will only market 100% electric models. This initiative will reduce the CO2 emissions of its vehicles to zero. But this is of course not enough, as the aim is to decarbonize vehicles over their entire life cycle. And the beginning of this cycle is their manufacture!

"For manufacturing, we are aiming for carbon neutrality from 2025 for the ElectriCity, from 2030 for the manufacturing sites in Europe and in 2050 for all the industrial sites worldwide," explains Nicolas Estebe, Director of Production Engineering for the Industrial and Support System

A few years ago, decarbonization was not necessarily on the agenda. The subject of energy efficiency was certainly present, but today, in the current context of tension around energy and the need to reduce the carbon footprint of industrial activities, it is a question of implementing a roadmap marked with milestones.

Nicolas Estebe

We want to halve the CO2 emissions from our industrial sites worldwide by 2030. Our program concerns all of the Group's sites on the four continents where we operate, with objectives broken down by geographic zone. The stakes are high in Europe, but our strategy is global. These ambitious objectives mean that we have to decide on our direction now.

Nicolas Estebe
Director of Production Engineering Industrial Systems and Support

Digital technology: an asset for monitoring consumption

To achieve this energy performance and, above all, to ensure that it is sustainable, Renault Group is relying on its digital expertise. More than 8,000 connected sensors have already been installed to record energy-related information. Thanks to these sensors, it is possible to monitor the consumption of the installations. This real-time vision makes it possible to monitor and react in case of an alert. With this precise monitoring, Renault Group is aiming to reduce its consumption by 25% by 2030 in all its plants.

A range of complementary solutions

But while analyzing consumption remains essential, we need to work on other levers, particularly the supply of renewable energy. To avoid using fossil fuels, and to make this transition to renewable energy, the Group is surrounding itself with "energy specialists".

"Doing without gas remains a major challenge for a manufacturer like Renault Group, but the solutions exist and we have the know-how," says Nicolas Estèbe. "In 2012, we set up the Net Zero plant in Tangiers, a completely carbon-free plant."

But what can be done in a factory built from scratch is not always easy to duplicate when it comes to transforming existing facilities.

Renault Group is working with various players, such as Iberdrola in Spain, to supply all the sites in that country. This network of partners will support the Group for a wider rollout at a later date.

Finally, solutions are being put in place to produce heat - and therefore energy - on the sites. Various alternatives are being studied for this purpose: *biomass, *geothermal energy, *methanization, etc.. The objective is to move forward on a case-by-case basis, depending on the relevance of the solution to the plant's location.

The challenge is high, but the momentum is there and even the suppliers are involved in this virtuous spiral. The teams are motivated and ready to take up the challenge.


*Biomass is the biodegradable part of all waste from agriculture, forestry and industry, but also from household waste.
Geothermal energy depends on the heat of the Earth. This energy is used to produce electricity in geothermal power plants, thanks to the very hot water in the earth's underground.
Methanization is a technology based on the degradation of organic matter by micro-organisms, under controlled conditions and in the absence of oxygen.

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