Volkswagen's redesigned 2012 Passat sedan has has been the recipient of many awards this year - including Motor Trend Car of the Year - but it's the Passat's Chattanooga, Tennessee that has taken home the most recent hardware.
The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Chattanooga plant its platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification last week, making it the cleanest and most efficient vehicle manufacturing facility in the world.
The The Green Building Council uses several different measures to determine a building's green credentials, including energy use, water consumption and recycling rates. The $1 billion plant scored off the charts in all categories, resulting in the council's first-ever platinum certification.
VW designed the plant to be green from the onset, equipping the facility with a rain collection system that is used to cool welding equipment and flush toilets, low-flow water fixtures, a paint shop that can save 50 million gallons of water per decade and an LED lighting system that cuts energy use by 66 percent.
GM's five-year old Lansing Delta Township plant earned the Green Building Council's second-highest rating of gold.
1.'VW's Chattanooga plant...' view