Lamborghini has a surprising sustainability story

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Tucked away in the small Italian town of Sant’Agata Bolognese is one of the Volkswagen Group’s greatest experiments. It’s not a new hybrid supercar, although a few are on the way. It’s the quieter, less sexy parts of the Lamborghini brand that are the driving force behind one of the world’s most sustainable car brands.

Sustainability takes many forms. It’s not just zero exhaust emissions, although that’s the loudest talking point right now. The real impact of sustainable business practices comes from product development through production and end-of-life of the product.

Lamborghini focuses hardest on the two elements they can directly control: development and manufacturing.

Walking around the Lamborghini factory, which was certified carbon neutral in 2015, it resembles most other vehicle assembly facilities. It is clean, orderly and full of right angles and long corridors. To the naked eye there is nothing special about it.

Lamborghini has installed solar panels in its parking lot at the Sant’Agata Bolognese plant.
Automotive Lamborghini SpA

But if you stand at the exit of the Urus paint shop and look to the left, past the mule stalls of possible future vehicles that cannot be written about today, you will see one of the company’s greatest points of sustainability pride: a large, green field next to another and another after that.

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Under the chain of fields runs the pipeline that supplies the biomethane gas that will power 50 percent of Lamborghini’s manufacturing operations by 2023, replacing natural gas.

At the other end of the pipeline are two trigeneration plants that produce electricity, heating and cooling through a closed system that supplies nearly 4 million cubic meters of gas. The use of biomethane will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by up to 80 percent – 11,400 tons per year.

The company has switched to shipping Urus bodies by rail, resulting in an 85 percent reduction in process emissions.

Sustainability-oriented changes in the business operations within the complex are already in effect. Ninety-five percent of the paint used in the company’s paint shop is water-based. Solar panels provide shade and shelter over vehicle parking areas. Cars are produced in class A sustainable buildings, which are defined as buildings with low energy consumption and low maintenance costs.

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carbon fiber Lamborghini bracelet
Bracelets made of recycled carbon fiber are shown on the wrist of a Lamborghini driver.
Automotive Lamborghini SpA

Leather and cabin fiber are upcycled and reused as part of new initiatives. Leftover leather is sent to a local company that employs disadvantaged workers. Those workers make the leather goods sold in Lamborghini stores worldwide, such as wallets and key chains.

Circularity in the use of carbon fiber is the goal for Lamborghini. It still has a long way to go, but the company has made strides by making promotional products from recycled carbon fiber, such as bracelets. From 2020 to 2021, 27 tons of Aventadors composite materials were recycled.

Lamborghini doesn’t draw the line at sustainable factory operations. They devote time and resources to other biological projects just down the street from the complex.

Lamborghini Park is home to another of the company’s sustainability initiatives. There, more than 10,000 oak trees stand in ecological harmony with numerous plant and animal species, their growth being monitored by local university scientists to see which types of plots are most beneficial to the environment.

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Lamborghini Park hives
A Lamborghini Park employee interacts with a group of bees in the experimental hive complex.
Automotive Lamborghini SpA

It is also home to a biomonitoring project with 13 hives filled with 600,000 bees, the fruits of which are both data and honey highly sought after by the company’s employees and a very few friends. The apiary was founded in 2016.

The cabinets are high tech. They include instruments to measure internal and external temperature, humidity and wind speed, as well as electronic scales that weigh each hive to remotely monitor that the bees are collecting enough nectar and pollen to grow in line with expectations.

These environmental projects are part of the company’s “Direzione Cor Tauri” plan, which is driven by the largest investment in Lamborghini’s history, €1.5 billion over four years.

The luxury carmaker’s entire craze will be hybrid by 2024 and an all-electric model should be released by 2030.

Lamborghini honey
Lamborghini offers the honey made in Lamborghini Park to a select group of employees and friends.
Automotive Lamborghini SpA

Lamborghini takes an all-encompassing approach to sustainability, not one that is fashionable or trendy. They don’t praise their modest vehicle electrification efforts or office recycling efforts and call it a day. The company continues to push the boundaries, both in terms of sustainability and the vehicles they offer to their consumers.

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