​For preserving the environment, we’ve earned a Gold Seal!

All of our 10 FCA Units in Latin America have earned a Gold Seal for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control and six of them are already Carbon Neutral

Octuber 2, 2019 - All ten FCA production units in Latin America have earned the Gold Seal this year following the release of their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission inventories and verification through an external audit. Six of these units stand out for being Carbon Neutral (that is, for offsetting 100% of carbon emissions): the Jeep Automotive Plant (Goiana) and FCA Jaboatão dos Guararapes, in Pernambuco; Campo Largo Engine Factory in Paraná; Mopar Hortolândia Distribution Center, in São Paulo; the Fiat Powertrain Unit and Mopar Betim Automotive Plant, in Minas Gerais; all in Brazil. The Seal award follows the GHG Protocol methodology, a tool that seeks to understand, measure and manage GHG emissions.

"Receiving the Gold Seal means the recognition of FCA's commitment to reducing emissions generated throughout the production process with full transparency. Since 2017, we have been using the recognized GHG Protocol methodology, but 2019 has been a special year as we have become members of the program and all our Latin American units have already been covered", says Neylor Bastos, FCA's Manager of Environment, Health and Safety for Latin America.

GHG ProtocolGuilherme Lefèvre (GHG Protocol Team), Bartira Amado (EHS FCA Betim Powertrain), Amanda Leite (EHS Latam) and Carolina Bastos (GHG Protocol Team) at the Annual Event for the Brazilian GHG Protocol Program, held on August 15.

All our plants have an Equivalent Carbon indicator (CO2e) for monthly monitoring of results. From January to July this year, compared to the same period in 2018, FCA reduced its total carbon emissions by 16%. For FCA Environment Analyst for Latin America, Amanda Leite, this data is directly related to the projects, which "are developed by teams involved and engaged in the dissemination of the concepts of environmental preservation". "Equivalent Carbon" equalizes the warming potential of greenhouse gases to carbon dioxide, making it easier to control emissions. Thus, the potential of CO2 is 1 and methane’s, for example, is 24, precisely because it is 24 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. In the GHG emission inventory, all gases must be reported as carbon equivalent.

One of the initiatives that has contributed to the advance of the indicator is the use of ethanol in FCA's internal fleet. In the Jeep Automotive Plant alone, from January to July 2019, 3,372 tons of CO2e are no longer emitted. “Ethanol is a biofuel and its production comes from sugar cane. During its growth, the plant absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and, in vehicle combustion, this carbon dioxide is released, closing the cycle”, explains Amanda. Thus, by using ethanol as a standard fuel in the domestic fleet, FCA units in Brazil have reduced considerably GHG emissions compared to the use of gasoline.

At the Campo Largo Engine Factory, one of the projects to reduce GHG emissions has to do with air dryers for compressors. "We have three air dryers at the factory. To prevent gas from escaping into the atmosphere, we have shut-off valves in each of the dryers", explains unit environmental analyst Aline Bonato. The measure has resulted in an annual reduction of 316 tons of CO2e and the practice can be expanded to other industries.

Mopar HortolândiaMopar Distribution Center in Hortolândia (SP).

According to Paloma Fernandes, environmental analyst and leader of the Environment Pillar of Mopar Hortolândia Distribution Center, "the fact that we do not see some of the atmospheric emissions from corporate activities means that many companies do not mitigate this environmental impact, and the Program Neutral Carbon has exactly this goal of mapping and reducing environmental aspects". She says that in November 2018, a lighting study was conducted at the Mopar Distribution Center and found that the number of light bulbs (all LED) was above the requirements. With the proper adjustments, the Center reduced by 30% its consumption of electricity and, of course, the emissions related to this economy. Furthermore, because all the light bulbs are LED, there was already a 40% reduction in energy consumption compared to that of fluorescent bulbs.

This year, the Fiat Automotive Plant Powertrain Unit has also become Carbon Neutral. The unit's environmental analyst, Bartira Amado, says that two recent actions have optimized the use of the transmission system production ovens. After technical analysis by the staff, it was possible to program strategic shutdowns of one of the ovens without affecting production. Electricity and natural gas savings represented an annual reduction of approximately 875 tons of CO2e. The second action was the automation of the endothermic gas generator furnaces, which generate an added reduction of 129 tons of CO2e per year. The Jeep Automotive Plant also invests in the reduction natural gas consumption in one of the unit's furnaces - its Sealing Oven, used in the process of bicolor roof painting of cars. According to the environmental analyst of the production plant, Diego Marques, the project changes the on/off configuration of the burners of this furnace and, after reaching the desired temperature, it temporarily shuts off some of them to save energy without causing a change in temperature. In the tests already carried out, the quality of the painting was maintained with a proven savings of 7,132 tons of CO2e per year.

Powertrain Fiat BetimBartira with the heat treatment team at the Powertrain Unit of the Fiat Automotive Plant (Betim). In the background, the ovens for the transmission production system.

“We developed the awareness project Captain of Energy, where a team of employees voluntarily helps in implementing simple actions such as turning off lights and air conditioners at certain times. This contributes to the reduction of the plant's energy consumption and, consequently, reduces emissions and spreads a sustainable culture”, says Adrianne Souza, Labor Safety Technician in Jaboatão dos Guararapes. In addition, this and other plants of the FCA group acquire Encouraged Energy (wind and solar, for example). The measure, besides reducing GHG emissions compared to others available in Brazil, such as thermal and hydroelectric, is also another incentive for renewable energy production in the country.

FCA's Neutral Carbon Program provides for the measurement, management, reduction and mitigation of GHG emissions from the daily activities of its ten production units in Latin America. For such, in addition to providing reports for the group's institutional inventory, each develops compensation actions. For emissions that cannot be eliminated, a compensation plan is made, according to Amanda, "with proportional investment of Carbon Credits in UN-recognized Clean Development Mechanism projects, the Certified Emission Reductions (CER) recognized worldwide".

Another action that contributes to lowering FCA’s GHG emissions is the biodiversity and carbon stocks protection programs. At the Jeep Automotive Plant, an area that was once occupied by sugarcane monoculture is now being reforested with seedlings from the original Atlantic Forest biome. Thus, by 2024, 304 hectares of green area and ecological corridors will have been created. At the Campo Largo Motor Factory, there is an area of ​​106 hectares of forest with more than 50 different plant species (including Araucaria), 82 bird species and six mammal species. The site also has five preserved water springs. Together, the programs of these two plants accumulate approximately 107,000 tons of stored CO2.

“With the FCA Neutral Carbon Program in Latin America we are reaching our internal and external audiences, spreading the concepts of GHG emissions and what we can do inside and outside the units to contribute to the fight against climate change”, concludes Amanda.

Words: Vanessa Costa

Pictures: Marketing

Related Stories

Sustainability: the only possible road to the future​

Read More

​FCA advocates using ethanol for mobility with less impact on the environment

Read More