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Saab Exceeds Sweden's New Manufacturing Emissions Requirements

Published on 2002-03-18. Author : SpecialChem

Saab cars have long been known for their efficiency. Their small displacement turbocharged engines have become synonymous with excellent fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Now, the automaker has successfully turned its attention to reducing emissions in the manufacturing process.

Saab Automobile has one of the world's most modern car painting facilities and some of the lowest levels of solvent emissions worldwide. New Swedish regulations call for a 50 percent reduction of hazardous organic substances, including solvents, over the 15-year period from 1995 to 2010. Saab's improvements have allowed them to meet this requirement eight years early, by achieving a 64 percent emissions reduction in the last seven years.

Presently, Saab's automobile production generates on average 5.1 lbs. of solvents per painted car compared with approximately 30.9 lbs. per painted car at the beginning of the 1990s. This exceeds the European Union's limit of 13.2 pounds by 61 percent.

"It is thanks to our enormously dedicated employees and well planned environmental efforts that we have been so successful," said Saab AB Environmental Manager Bo Swaner.

During the 1990s, the debate surrounding solvents and their detrimental effect on the environment raged, sparking Swedish authorities to take action. Comprehensive environmental goals were established, one of which called for a substantial reduction of hazardous organic substance emissions.

Refusing to invest in purification plants that would consume large amounts of energy and strain the environment, Saab chose instead to attack the problem at its source. These preventive methods include switching to materials that contain fewer or no solvents rather than installing high energy consuming abatement equipment. Saab has also invested in a new electrocoating process and paint shop for water-based materials to assist in the reduction of emissions. "These tactical changes are complemented by a cultural commitment to continuous improvement within the company," said Swaner.

Source: Saab Cars USA, Inc.

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