Volkswagen AG was also honored with a PACE Collaborator award to recognize its willingness to work closely with DuPont on EcoConcept to develop and commercialize the new process in a manner best suited to the company's needs. The PACE judges stressed that as a result of Volkswagen AG's creation of a unique collaborative environment with DuPont, "VW gained a low-cost and low- emissions improvement in production."
"EcoConcept succeeds in doing what coatings manufacturers and automobile companies have been attempting for decades. It combines two coating steps into one waterborne basecoat, so the automobile manufacturer can eliminate an entire spray booth and its associated drying equipment," said Marty McQuade, vice president and general manager of DuPont Automotive Systems. "The benefits are astounding, including reduced emissions of greenhouse gases due to reduced solvent use, lower energy consumption and higher productivity."
The Volkswagen (VW) Mexico plant at Puebla was the first assembly plant to install the new system. The systems are now in place at the Volkswagen plant in Pamplona, and its SEAT plant in Spain. The process is being considered for implementation in a new VW paint shop scheduled to begin operations in Russia in 2008.
The PACE awards competition, now in its 13th year, is recognized around the world as the automotive industry's symbol of innovation. PACE award finalists have come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and Japan. The awards are cosponsored by Automotive News, Microsoft, SAP and TRC, Inc.
"These are the Oscars of the automotive industry," said McQuade. "Being selected for the PACE award is recognition of the DuPont science community for its relentless pursuit of technology that enables our customers to succeed."
DuPont -- one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 16 years ago -- has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.