Renault Trucks is committed to reducing the impact of its activities on the environment, and makes considerable efforts to achieve this goal. Apart from innovative solutions for reducing CO2 emissions from the trucks themselves, RT has also cut its energy consumption per vehicle produced by almost 50%. This has been achieved by modernising its plants, installing solar or photovoltaic panels on its buildings and investing in the energies of the future, fully in line with the objectives laid down by the "Grenelle" summit on the environment.
Renault Trucks' commitment to reducing the amount of energy consumed by all its activities can be clearly observed at its manufacturing sites of Bourg-en-Bresse (01), Lyon (69) and Blainville (14). Between 2003 and 2008, Renault Trucks halved its energy consumption per vehicle produced and cut its CO2 emissions by 35%. To achieve these results - which are only a first step - the manufacturer has implemented a policy of renovating its plants and investing in projects related to sustainable development. A series of concrete initiatives which contribute to reaching the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and consuming 20% less energy (compared with 1990 levels) as defined by the "Grenelle" summit on the environment.
Since 2005, the plant modernisation programme has had a very clear aim - to avoid wastage and improving energy efficiency. To that end, the old neon lighting in the factory buildings is steadily being replaced by low consumption light fittings (3 x 14 W) connected to presence detectors which adjust their power according to the ambient light intensity. The number of translucent openings in ceilings and walls has been increased so that more natural light can enter the buildings and reduce the consumption of electricity during the day. A further move, to reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer, has been to fit solar films or sunblock panels on facades exposed to the sun.
In a similar vein, particular attention has been paid to improving the buildings' overall insulation. This includes insulating walls and roofs, fitting double glazed windows, improving seals on doors and gates or replacing old boilers by new, more efficient ones. When the company restaurant at the Vénissieux site (69) was renovated, a solar water heater was installed above the building. Its 45 sq. m. of solar panels enables it to heat 2,500 L of water to 55°C per 24 hour period, meeting the needs of some 2,000 diners every day.
The start-up of the new paint lines at the Blainville (14) plant is another clear demonstration of how the policy adopted by Renault Trucks to reduce its impact on the environment is being implemented. Inaugurated in June 2009, these lines will gradually be switched to using hydro-soluble lacquers, which will reduce the emission of volatile organic composites (VOCs) by 35%. This will be accompanied by new modes of application enabling energy consumption to be reduced by between 30-50%.
Sustainable development projects
At the same time as implementing these measures, Renault Trucks has committed to extending the use of renewable energies on its sites. Because it has such large areas at its disposal, RT provides an ideal context in which to set up applications associated with solar energy. That is why it has made an agreement with EDF Energies Nouvelles which rents its surfaces for setting up and developing alternative means of producing energy.
This has led to photovoltaic panels being installed on two new buildings recently completed in Lyon. Their roofs are covered with 3,000 sq. m. of amorphous silicon cells which are more receptive to the sun's rays than the so-called crystalline cells used up until now. This translates into an energy supply of 200 MW a year, which is the amount consumed by 80 households annually, and will prevent an equivalent 25 tonnes of CO2 from being produced (source: ADEME). This principle has also been chosen at Bourg-en-Bresse, where a 2,000 sq. m. roof of photovoltaic panels will be able to produce enough energy to power 42 households and so prevent an equivalent 13 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted every year.
Finally, photovoltaic panels are to be installed above the four car parks at the Lyon site. Their total surface will be more than 6,600 sq. m. These will be capable of generating up to 725 Megawatt hours (MWh) a year, which is enough to power 290 households for the same period. This will prevent an equivalent 87 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted. The project has been carried out in association with the Renault Trucks Design department, so that the architecture blends harmoniously with its surroundings.