published Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Volkswagen receives Bridge Builders honor

Volkswagen builds vehicles in Hamilton County.
Volkswagen builds vehicles in Hamilton County.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Volkswagen's Chattanooga operation has received a national award for sustainable manufacturing and its partnership with the city.

Partners for Livable Communities on Thursday presented VW with its Bridge Builders Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Partners President Bob McNulty said VW's "hard work in making the Chattanooga assembly plant eco-friendly, in addition to the public-private partnership with the city of Chattanooga, is what defines a bridge builder: overcoming differences to make the greater Chattanooga community a better place to live."

The VW plant became the first auto assembly factory in the world to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum status from the U.S. Green Buildings Council - the highest such certification.

Also, VW recently opened a solar farm next to the plant. As the largest solar park at any U.S. auto plant, the array provides 9.5 megawatts, or 12.5 percent, of the plant's energy.

Frank Fischer, who heads VW's Chattanooga operation, said the Bridge Builder award is tailor-made for it.

He said the Chattanooga operation "celebrates the effort to bridge the gap between business success and environmental sustainability.

"For Volkswagen, environmentally-friendly business practices are not just the right thing to do for our planet, they are the right thing to do for our product," Fischer said in a statement, also citing Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield for his efforts in partnering with the company.

Partners for Livable Communities is a non-profit leadership organization aimed at improving the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development, and social equity.

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