VOLKSWAGEN is well aware of its responsibility for its products. Environmental impacts occur not only during the service life of a vehicle but also during production of the raw materials, the manufacturing process and ultimately recycling and disposal.
In order to reduce environmental impacts to a reasonable minimum, the full life cycle of a product must be taken into account.
To this end, Volkswagen draws up Life Cycle Assessments that analyse the creation of new vehicles, components and materials.
On top of this Volkswagon also considers the environmental impact of production of the fuel consumed during the vehicle's service life.
In a Life Cycle Assessment in line with ISO 14040 the first step is to document all the relevant types and quantities of material and the types and quantities of energy consumed in the production, use and recycling of the product.
Step two is a Life Cycle Impact Assessment which classifies the environmental impact of the product into categories such as global warming, photochemical ozone creation, soil and water acidification and eutrophication.
This is followed by interpretation of the findings of the first two steps.
For the Life Cycle Assessment of the Polo the company compared three diesel-engined models with 5-speed manual gearboxes and 55 kW (1.2 TDI1, 1.2 TDI BlueMotion2) or 66 kW (1.2 TDI BlueMotion Technology)3 with a similarly powerful predecessor. For the petrol models, a Polo 1.2 TSI (77 kW) with six-speed manual gearbox4 and a 1.4 MPI (63 kW) with seven-speed DSG5 were compared with a similarly engined predecessor. All current models comply with the Euro 5 exhaust emissions standard.