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Magna Seating Vigo: Building a Greener Future

From providing employees with reusable water bottles and cloth bags for grocery shopping to using energy from 100% renewable sources, Magna Seating Vigo in Porrino, Spain is dedicated to building a cleaner and greener future.

The division, which produces about 500,000 seat frames and structures for a long list of automakers, including Stellantis, Renault and Daimler, recently was awarded a 2020 green energy certificate from Nexus Energia, an electricity distributor based in Spain.


The 6,000 megawatt-hours of electricity used by the division last year were derived from solar, wind and biomass, a readily available plant- or animal-based fuel in this part of Spain. This is the second year in a row that the division achieved the goal of using energy from 100% renewable sources.

Renewable energy can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil-fuel use, the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. Magna Vigo’s efforts are helping Magna achieve its carbon neutrality goal in European operations by 2025.

“Sustainability begins with awareness of our environment and then progressively making efforts to improve conditions at work and at home,” said Herminio Fernandez, Magna Vigo’s general manager and an operations director for Magna Europe structural products.

Building awareness about sustainability starts with the division’s annual Environment or ECO day. The plant’s 500 employees learn about conserving resources, celebrate the environment and pledge to eliminate wasteful practices, such as using plastic water bottles. In addition, the energy team meets regularly to analyze and test the division’s use of resources and come up with new ways to help protect the planet.

“We have to find the right balance between sustainability and business,” said Fernandez. “Technology is the key.”

The sprawling plant is in the process of testing technology that will further reduce CO2 emissions from natural gas use on the painting line and to clean parts. It is also switching to LED lights throughout the facility. A major step toward conservation came when the division co-founded CEAGA, a consortium of 25 local companies that work together to buy energy at a lower cost.

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“When we combine our efforts, good things happen," said Fernandez. "Together, we’re making progress in reducing CO2 emissions.”

The conservation mindset extends to employees’ homes. Fernandez said his family has been dedicated to recycling for the past 15 years and even switched to biomass for home heating.

“These are the seeds that make progress happen,” Fernandez said. “My children are watching and I’m sure they will do even more to protect the planet in the future.”

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