For the automotive industryFor the automotive industry, the choice to pursue a more sustainable strategy is a no brainer: car makers must reduce the environmental impact of their products, or – caught between the various legislative measures and the changing demands of the mobility market - they will find themselves out of business.
With that in mind, Audi is seeking collaboration along the entire value chain to conserve resources and enhance the sustainability of the development, manufacture and marketing processes used for its products – among others, by applying a more closed-loop, circular approach to these processes through reuse, remanufacturing and recycling.
In the interior of the new Audi A3, the change is tangible - the seat upholstery in the new car is made from 89% recycled content.
According to Audi, one seat cover is made out of 45 1.5L PET bottles. The new seat covers will be available in three different material designs.
The company is working to increase the percentage of rPET to 100%, but ‘the lower layer of woven material, which is connected to the upper material with adhesive, is what poses the challenge’ explained Ute Grönheim, head of material development in the textiles division at Audi.
“We are working on replacing this with recyclable polyester,” he continued. “It is our goal to make the seat upholstery completely from unmixed material so that it can be recycled again. We are no longer very far away from this.” The goal at Audi is to fully incorporate the car seat covers into the recycling loop.
Secondary raw materials are also increasingly being used for other components in the interior, including insulating materials and absorbers, the side panel trims of the luggage compartment, the loading floor and the mats. Audi aims to steadily increase the percentage of recycled materials it uses over the coming years.
Audi will unveil the seats at the world premiere of the new A3 at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2020.