From this autumn, the Audi Q4 e-tron will have windows made from recycled glass: an innovation that gives a second life to old windows.

From this autumn, the Audi Q4 e-tron will have windows made from recycled glass: an innovation that gives a second life to old windows.

Audi Q4 e-tron 2023

Audi Q4 e-tron windshields will now include up to 30% recycled glass from modern cars. This innovation marks the transition from the “GlassLoop” pilot project to series production, making Audi the first automaker to implement a glass recycling cycle. Until now, non-repairable car windows, mainly windshields and panel roofs, were recycled for complex applications such as bottle production or insulation – a process called “downcycling”. The “GlassLoop” project proved for the first time that glass can be recycled while maintaining the same quality. Audi will demonstrate this process at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL 2023 in Berlin, June 14-16. The company has supported this sustainability conference since 2020 as a founding partner.

In collaboration with Reiling Glas Recycling, Saint-Gobain Glass and Saint-Gobain Sekurit, Audi demonstrated how material loops can be reused in mass production through the “GlassLoop” project. After a year of joint testing, the partner companies have succeeded in making new windshields for the Audi Q4 e-tron from damaged car glass. The process is now ready for series production: the car windows are first broken into small pieces using an innovative recycling method. Then all non-vitreous material, such as glue residue, is removed. The glass particles are then melted and combined in the production process of automotive glass sheets. The glass thus produced can contain up to 30% recycled content. The aim is to supply enough cullet to ensure a percentage of recycled materials over the lifetime of the Audi Q4 e-tron, based on currently planned production figures. From September 2023, windshields produced in this way will be integrated into the production chain of the Audi Q4 e-tron.

“By converting irreversible car windows so that they can be reused in car manufacturing, we reduce our need for raw materials and prevent the reduction of the final car windows”, explains Philipp Eder, project manager for the circular economy in distribution. chain in Audi. Finally, using recycled glass pellets reduces the need for raw materials like quartz sand.

Winner: Sustainability Award for Glass Cleaning

Part of Audi’s Act4Impact initiative for the supply chain, the “GlassLoop” project aims to make Audi’s supply chain as environmentally and people-friendly as possible. This concern paid off:

Audi is one of three winners of the German Sustainability Project Award in the “Recycling Concept” category. The award is presented by the German Institute for Service Quality, the ntv news network and the DUP UNTERNEHMER magazine, and is sponsored by Brigitte Zypries, former German Minister of Economy.

The purpose of the circular economy is to preserve the quality of materials for as long as possible. This is important so that the material can be reused in the automotive industry and not left for unnecessary use. Audi is mainly active in the field of after-use equipment, i.e. equipment from end-of-life vehicles. The aim is to reduce down-cycling, that is, the degradation of the quality of the material during the recycling process.

Audi will demonstrate how to transport various materials such as steel, aluminum and plastic in a cycle during its demonstration at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL. The festival, now in its fifth edition, will host more than 190 exhibitors and around 120 speakers, and is expected to attract more than 15,000 attendees. The program of Europe’s largest green innovation festival, to be held at the site of Berlin’s former Tegel Airport, will include open sessions, panels, keynotes and training camps. GREENTECH FESTIVAL was founded by sustainable entrepreneur Nico Rosberg and engineers Marco Voigt and Sven Krüger.

Selection of the winner of the Audi Foundation grant for the environment

Another highlight will be the GREEN AWARDS, which reward individuals, institutions, companies, startups and innovators for their ideas for greater sustainability. The award will be presented on Wednesday June 14 and environmental activist Sharona Shnayder has been nominated in the “Younger” category. A grant recipient from the Audi Foundation for the Environment, he encourages people around the world to clean up the environment through his “Tuesday for Waste” movement.

Mission: Zero

Audi aims to achieve carbon neutrality in its production areas by 2050. To achieve this goal, the company has launched the Mission:Zero Environmental Program, which brings together all its methods to reduce its environmental impact in production areas and facilities. The environmental program goes beyond carbon sequestration and promotes the efficient use of water and resources, as well as the protection and conservation of biodiversity.

As part of Mission:Zero, Audi will use sustainable and recyclable materials as well as a standard high-contrast exhibition stand design for its stand at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL.

Projects of the Audi Foundation for the Environment

During the festival, the Audi Foundation for the Environment will present a series of its funding projects, including a coastal restoration project in the United States. Environmental initiatives by Save the Bay in California and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on the East Coast support the conservation of coastal waters as healthy and resilient ecosystems.

In Thailand, the Audi Environmental Foundation is working with the Ferry Porsche Foundation and Everwave to remove waste from rivers and canals around the capital, Bangkok, using a barge. In addition to cleaning operations, professional waste disposal structures are being built.

With the URBANFILTER project, which will be presented in one of the Audi panels, the Audi Environmental Foundation and the Technical University of Berlin are developing innovative filter modules for street drainage. Tests carried out in the laboratory at the Technical University of Berlin have shown that the filters are very effective. During the test phase, the filters successfully captured road debris, cigarette butts and small plastics up to three millimeters in size, as well as candy wrappers and coffee cup lids, without clogging. And not only in light rain, but also in heavy rain.