GROUP

LIFE CYCLE

In 1995, Renault committed to improving the complete life cycle of its vehicles, obtaining ISO 14001 certification for its sites, eco-designing its vehicles and optimally recycling its waste. The goal of these measures is to protect the ecological balance and to reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment.

Interview of Jean-Philippe Hermine

Rising to environmental challenges 

The survival of natural ecosystems depends on the fragile balance between fauna, flora and human beings. Today, this balance is under threat from population growth and industrial and human activities.

 

The activities of the automotive industry, which has a major role to play, must be regulated by ambitious policies.

 

  • The carbon dioxide emitted by gasoline engines contributes to global warming.
  • Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions contribute to the acidification of rain and soil.
  • Cars increase noise levels in urban environments.
  • The manufacture and use of vehicles consume natural resources.

Life cycle management 

Reducing environmental impacts at every stage of a vehicle's life cycle: this is the challenge that Renault has taken up with its original life cycle management policy.

 

Renault's environmental policy is based on five complementary courses of action.

 

Protecting the value of our environmental heritage: the impacts of Renault's manufacturing activities can cause harm to the environment. It is preferable to prepare for any potential risks and prevent them from occurring. Risks are managed at every production site.

 

Eliminating or reducing environmental impacts: at each stage in the vehicle life cycle, Renault endeavors to limit damage while promoting safety, comfort and quality.

 

Reconciling our product and service offering with environmental protection: with its eco² range, Renault proposes a complete selection of economical and more ecological vehicles, including its electric models.

 

Implementing environmental management company-wide and throughout the vehicle life cycle: a priority shared by every company employee.

 

Promoting communication on the environment: customers, suppliers and investors must all be informed and made aware of the measures Renault takes to achieve progress. The goal being to reconcile the efforts that everyone is making to increase the performance of the Group's environmental policy. 


Life cycle analysis 

 

Electric vehicles will help to take up the major challenges facing the automotive industry by halving global warming and the consumption of non-renewable resources. The results achieved for more localized phenomena, such as acid rain or the eutrophication of water, will depend on each country and their means of generating electricity. Without forgetting that the irrefutable benefit of electric vehicles lies in their use, which will be beneficial to urban zones.

Juliette Beaulieu, Life cycle assessment lead

 

Life cycle analysis is an international method used to assess the environmental footprint of a vehicle, from raw materials extraction to recycling.

 

At every step in the vehicle life cycle, all the flows of materials or pollutants are identified. These flows are then converted and consolidated in order to calculate the vehicle's potential impact at global and local level (towns, regions, countries, etc.).

 

Life cycle analysis measures five environmental impacts:

 

  • Eutrophication: nutrients that result in the proliferation of algae and asphyxiate aquatic ecosystems.

 

  • Acidification: increase in the acidity of rain that then impacts ecosystems.

 

  • Photochemical ozone: production of polluting ozone that results in "ozone peaks" and causes respiratory problems.

 

  • Global warming: emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O, etc.) that cause global warming.

 

  • Depletion of resources: the quantity of minerals, water and non-renewable energy consumed.

 

Electric vehicles represent a true breakthrough for individual mobility. It was crucial for Renault to measure and maximize the reduction of the environmental footprint of its Z.E. range right from the design phase, by envisioning its future use in the years to come. This approach has allowed for the optimization of the materials used to make the batteries.

 

The environmental excellence of electric vehicles will be confirmed by the improvement of countries' energy mix, future batteries and recycling.

 

A comparative life cycle analysis of the electric and internal combustion versions of Fluence was made by an international panel of independent specialists. The panel confirmed Renault's compliance with ISO 14040 and 14044. Click on the link opposite to view the analysis and all the comments of the critical review.