Jaguar has received certification from the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency) for a comprehensive ‘cradle-to-grave’ study which analyses the environmental impact of its exciting new lightweight XJ model. The detailed lifecycle study will help accelerate the development of the next generation of more sustainable Jaguars, and highlights the company’s progress in reducing the carbon footprint of its products.
The lifecycle assessment of the latest XJ was fully audited and approved by the VCA, making Jaguar one of the few vehicle manufacturers to have completed an officially recognised study of the environmental impact of a vehicle – from manufacturing, through a lifetime of customer use, to ultimate disposal and recycling.
The comprehensive study will enable Jaguar to identify new opportunities to improve the sustainability of its vehicles, including developing the aerospace-inspired lightweight aluminium architecture which plays a central role in the outstanding performance and efficiency of the new XJ.
“VCA certification is an important milestone in Jaguar's mission to reduce the environmental impact of its products,” says Tony Higgins, Project Leader for the XJ certification. “Detailed lifecycle assessment helps us understand more clearly the most effective ways of reducing each model’s carbon footprint.
“Jaguar is committed to maintaining a leadership position in its approach to sustainability, and the certification achieved for the new XJ model is an independent validation of the progress we have made,” he added.
Lifecycle Study Follows Leading Environmental Management Standards
The VCA certification involved an audit of each aspect of the lifecycle assessment carried out on the new Jaguar XJ, addressing product development, manufacturing processes and vehicle performance. This took account of the principles, requirements and guidelines for life cycle assessments as described in the International Standards ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006. The audit also reviewed evidence of the integration of environmental aspects into the vehicle’s design and development as described in ISO TR 14062:2002.
To give an accurate assessment of the environmental impact, thelife cycle study was based on the creation, use and disposal of a typical XJ vehicle over a specified lifetime (200,000km), including the materials used, material processing, assembly and transport during manufacturing.
As the first complete life cycle study carried out by Jaguar, the analysis provides a significant opportunity to increase understanding about the environmental impact of producing and using one of Jaguar’s latest products, and to use this data to generate improvements within future vehicles.
Paul Markwick, VCA CEO, said, “I’m delighted to present this certificate to the team at Jaguar; I know it marks the culmination of a lot of hard work. Environmental issues are rightly high on the business agenda so it is great to see industry embracing initiatives such as Life Cycle Assessment, This demonstrates a clear commitment to the management of environmental impacts at all stages of the product life cycle, from concept through to the end of vehicle life. VCA has supported the automotive industry with its certification needs globally for more than 30 years and this extensive knowledge of the sector means that our audit teams understand the complexities of the vehicle design and construction process and the legislation supporting this”.
Developing Jaguar’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture
A key focus for future development will be the unique lightweight aluminium vehicle architecture which lies at the heart of the latest Jaguar XJ.
Based on aerospace technology, the aluminium body structure offers a number of major advantages compared to a conventional steel shell, including a substantial cut in the energy required for manufacturing and a significant reduction in weight.
The aluminium body in the new XJ uses up to 50 percent recycled material, with a plan to increase this to 75 percent. Body panels made from recycled material use only five percent of the energy required for new aluminium, equating to a potential saving of three tonnes of CO2 per vehicle compared to a bodyshell made from new aluminium.
The XJ’s aluminium structure also saves around 150kg compared to an equivalent steel body, allowing the use of smaller, more fuel efficient engines with no compromise to performance. Equipped with the 3.0-litre AJ-V6D turbodiesel, the XJ delivers an impressive combined economy figure of 40.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 184g/km.
“Jaguar has been at the forefront of developing lightweight aluminium bodies for the past decade, and the lifecycle assessment will help us find new opportunities to enhance their environmental benefits,” says Mark White, Chief Technical Specialist Body Engineering.
“With a holistic approach, which takes account of the energy required during manufacturing, the advantages of an aluminium structure are particularly compelling. Compared to a typical steel-bodied competitor, we estimate that the new Jaguar XJ can cut CO2 emissions by six tonnes per vehicle over the whole lifecycle.”