Festival season is underway

Berlin – Győr – Although the title is a bit pretentious, it’s true to say that the festival season has started. Our colleague Dr. András Torma, Audi Hungaria’s Environmental Officer, opened this summer with the Greentech Festival in Berlin, which took place from 14-16 June, and András represented Audi Hungaria at this international environmental event at the former Tegel Airport in Berlin.

What is the Greentech Festival?

Greentech Festival is an international series of events on sustainability, this year hosted by Berlin. It has a long history and is the largest event in Europe on this theme. Its global character is reflected in the fact that next year, for example, it will be held in Los Angeles.

The former Lufthansa hangar which also serves as a conference centre at the Tegel airport and its surroundings, e.g. the concrete runway of the airport, has been transformed into a real science festival centre, with a large exhibition area welcoming a large audience. Among the exhibitors were such major companies as Deutsche Bahn, E.ON, Tesla, Lufthansa, Samsung and Shell. Four to five stages were running simultaneously, with informative panel discussions and interesting presentations. The prestige of the event was reflected in the presentation by Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, an internationally renowned sustainability scientist who was recently named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the Times. But we could also mention Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, co-chairman of the Club of Rome, a leading sustainability think tank, several ministers, well-known musicians or even the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg, who was co-organizing the event. The name of the festival is not misleading at all, because although it was about serious topics such as electromobility, ESG, hydrogen transition and sustainability, the festival’s spirit was provided by electric cars and motors on display, driving experience programs, bean bags, light-hearted discussions and networking opportunities.

How was Audi represented at the event?

Our brand had its own stand at the festival, where, in addition to presenting the most important sustainability topics, there were panel discussions on various subjects, including my presentation entitled Mission:Zero at Audi Hungaria, which focused on the carbon neutrality of our company. I presented the measures we have taken in Győr to reduce our carbon footprint, how we have achieved CO2-neutral operations by 2020, as well as the ambitions and future projects we are working on. Following my 20-minute panel, I was asked a number of serious questions of a technical nature. Among other things, the participants were interested in how our carbon neutrality is verified and how we involve our colleagues in our joint work.

Many people may not be aware of what an environmental department does in the world’s largest powertrain plant and one of the most modern vehicle production plants.

We work to make our company as environmentally friendly as possible. Our responsibilities include, among many other things, overseeing the Environmental Compliance Management System, and I am more specifically involved in carbon neutrality. By looking at decarbonisation, we are constantly collecting data on the evolution of our carbon footprint, analyzing how the adaptation of different measures can be implemented in our company and what the positive returns are. Of course, we are also involved in strategic planning and long-term innovative projects such as Direct Air Capturing and the Hydrogen Project, which includes the development of an artificial intelligence-based indicator system.

The question arises, what kind of a professional can work on such projects?

I graduated as an engineering manager in environmental management at the Budapest University of Technology, where I continued my studies and obtained a PhD, and I am also a specialist engineer in energy loss detection. In parallel to my work at Audi, I am also an Associate Professor and Head of Department at the Department of Applied Sustainability of Széchenyi István University.

What is the atmosphere like around sustainability in Győr and in Hungary today? What is the attitude and interest of young people in this topic?

My students are increasingly interested in sustainability. In the past, we had to catch students with a butterfly net for a project, but now they themselves are asking us to organize a waste collection festival or a sustainability college. I think we are moving in the right direction, we are more and more open to sustainable solutions, which fortunately are now becoming more and more trendy.

3 days, 15,000 visitors, more than 190 exhibitors and more than 150 speakers. An inspiring mix of pioneers, green technologies and ideas, innovations, companies, organizations, global decision-makers who are trying to make our world a better place.



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