Environmental protection is the top priority for Volkswagen


“Think Blue” is a global Volkswagen initiative that intends to address how individual mobility and sustainability can be harmonised. “Think Blue” serves as an umbrella brand for Volkswagen’s activities that are related to sustainability.

Volkswagen Dyer Island 2011

This includes environmentally-friendly technologies such as BlueMotion Technologies and its concepts brands including BlueMotion and BlueMotion Technology.

“Environmental awareness has been a topical issue in Europe for many years. It is only in the last few years that it has become such an important topic in South Africa. With Think Blue, Volkswagen aims to inspire people and heighten their awareness to engage in environmentally-friendly and sustainable actions.

We will initiate an open, understandable dialogue, inviting people to share ideas about “Think Blue”. We want to show people that ecologically sustainable behaviour is not only possible, but fun too,” said Mike Glendinning, Director: Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen Group South Africa.

Volkswagen South Africa is adopting a three-pronged approach to introduce its “Think Blue” initiative to South African consumers, namely BlueFactory, BlueMotion and BlueEnvironment.


Volkswagen South Africa’s vision is to be an industry leader in environmental responsibility and a company with meaning and impact in terms of environmental consciousness. To attain its vision, Volkswagen has introduced holistic environmental initiatives, such as energy consumption monitoring and waste separation management at its manufacturing plant in Uitenhage.

Volkswagen is the first vehicle manufacturer in South Africa to subscribe to Wilderness Foundation’s GreenLeaf Environmental Standards. As such, the Uitenhage plant will be measured against the following standards: carbon footprint replacement, water and energy efficiency, waste management and environmental responsibility, including employee awareness and training.


As a carmaker, Volkswagen has a responsibility to its customers and environment. If we use less fuel today, there will be more for us to use tomorrow; we will have more money in our pockets and we will be doing something to save our environment. These are the fundamentals of the models equipped with BlueMotion and BlueMotion Technology. Models that carry these badges consume less fuel and have lower CO2 emissions.

Currently, Volkswagen South Africa has five models carrying these badges – Polo, Golf, Volkswagen CC, Tiguan and Touareg. BlueMotion and BlueMotion Technology combine dynamic driving experience with fuel-efficient technology. BlueMotion models use innovative and eco-friendly technologies such as Stop-Start and regenerative braking. Additionally, BlueMotion and BlueMotion Technology models are fitted with advanced TDI and TSI engines that are powerful yet fuel-efficient.


‘Think Blue” also covers cooperation and partnerships with environmental organisations. Volkswagen South Africa has partnered with the Wilderness Foundation on its rhino anti-poaching initiative. Six Amarok bakkies have been donated to conservation agencies in the high-priority areas of Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

The conservation agencies benefitting from this partnership are SANPARKS, North West Parks & Tourism Board, Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency, KZN Wildlife and Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves Association (Indalo). The vehicles are primarily used in proactive rhino protection and anti-poaching activities.

Recently Volkswagen partnered with Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) on the protection of the “Marine Big 5” – great white sharks, seals, dolphins, whales and African penguins. DICT received two vehicles – a Touareg BlueMotion and Polo BlueMotion – that they will use for beach rescues, to transport researchers and volunteers, as well for the day-to-day running of the organisation.

Whilst not formally one of the above mentioned pillars, another key element of the “Think Blue” initiative is getting customers to realise the difference they can make by, for example, driving less, adjusting to a conservative driving style and buying cars with eco-friendly technologies such as Stop Start system and regenerative braking. Hence the sign-off line of the campaign says, “Think Blue – we can, can you?