As the environmental manager of the Transparent Factory, Petra Larin works in the centre of Dresden, overlooking the botanical garden. “For this reason alone, sustainability plays a major role for us. We owe it to our neighbours, ”said the graduate engineer.
Dresden, one of the production facilities for the fully electric ID.3, is one of the first climate-neutral locations in the Volkswagen Group. The Transparent Factory saves 3,600 tons of CO₂ annually, just by using natural electricity from hydropower. But it’s not the big projects that are environmental manager Larin’s pride and joy. “Sustainability thrives on small contributions. This includes our flowering meadows, the insect hotels and the nesting aids for birds,” she said.
Since the Transparent Factory was founded around 20 years ago, one thing has been clear: A production location in the city centre must blend in as seamlessly as possible. Instead of fences and barriers, visitors to Dresden encounter plenty of greenery and a facade that allows you to look inside. Flowers, ponds and hundreds of trees characterise the outdoor area. “Symbiosis is our goal – this is what our collaboration with the botanical garden is all about; they help us select the most suitable plants,” said Larin. Since switching to e-mobility, the Transparent Factory has not only delivered electric cars – it also charges them with electricity from its own solar energy systems.
And ecology is important to Petra Larin in her own garden: As well as cultivating crops, she grows wildflowers, and deadwood provides a habitat for insects, amphibians and reptiles. When she is not out and about on her bike, she drives a car with hybrid drive. “Everyone can do their bit to help us achieve our climate goals. We are responsible for ensuring that the next generation has an environment worth living in,” she said.