Yanfeng has reached another milestone in its sustainability journey by bringing the power of solar energy to its plants in South Africa. The global automotive supplier already uses renewable energy at all its locations in Europe – some of which are already operating with 100% green energy – and now will supplement its operations in South Africa with sustainable and emission-free solar energy generation. This has put Yanfeng at the forefront of alternative energy in its industry, as it’s the only supplier in the AIDC's Automotive Supplier Park in Pretoria, and the East London Industrial Development Zone Supplier Park that makes use of renewable energy. With this, the company is taking a further step towards resource-saving production and contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
The new photovoltaic (PV) systems are operating at both sites and will produce an impressive combined 2,843,019 kWh of electricity in the first year. Each plant took approximately three months to complete with a total of 3,510 solar panels installed on the roofs of the production halls to convert sunlight into sustainable and cost-saving electricity.
Many sectors are facing major challenges with the transition to a low-carbon economy. The automotive sector in particular faces many operational and economic challenges when transforming production plants into net-zero emission operations. Thanks to its commitment to sustainability, 100% of the solar energy generated by the PV systems is used to power Yanfeng’s production plants in South Africa, helping them save around 2,559 tons of CO2 annually while reducing their monthly costs and increasing efficiencies.
“Thanks to the change to renewable energy we can make our production processes more environmentally friendly and save resources,” explained Simon Pella, Senior Manager Procurement at Yanfeng. “Energy and emission savings at our locations are an important measure to achieve our sustainability targets and our goal to reach net-zero emission production at our plants by 2030.”
The solar energy systems were funded by SolarAfrica, which will also operate, maintain and monitor the systems going forward. “From the outset of these projects, Yanfeng’s focus was on reducing their CO2 emissions and SolarAfrica is proud to partner with them to make their journey towards sustainability a success,” said David McDonald, CEO of SolarAfrica. “It’s inspiring to see a global company like Yanfeng invest in world-class facilities in South Africa, contributing to our country’s green economy and supporting job creation in the automotive industry.”
All Yanfeng European plants were converted to renewable energy by the beginning of 2022. With this new PV system, Yanfeng has implemented a milestone in the conversion to net-zero emission production at its two plants in South Africa.
Yanfeng is a leading global automotive supplier, focusing on interior, exterior, seating, cockpit electronics, and passive safety, and is exploring new business actively. Yanfeng has more than 240 locations and approximately 67,000 employees worldwide. The technical team of 4,200 experts is in ten R&D centers and other regional offices, with complete capabilities including engineering and software development, styling, and test validation. Focusing on Smart Cabin and lightweight technology, Yanfeng supports automakers to explore future mobility and provide leading cabin solutions.