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For VW, the eco-friendly hue is blue

Christina Rogers covers safety, regulation and Volkswagen AG for Automotive News

While other automakers are thinking green, Volkswagen is going blue.

The car company isn't feeling glum. It just wants to be different.

"Think Blue" is VW's latest eco-friendly catchphrase, or "philosophy" as VW calls it, encompassing efforts such as the company's attempts to green-up its factories worldwide and VW's push for more diesel-fueled cars.

VW has set a new target in this ongoing campaign: It hopes to make building cars 25 percent more "environmentally compatible" at its factories by 2018. The effort also has a name: "Think Blue. Factory."

Eventually, VW plans to reward workers who come up with the best ways to reduce energy use. They'll be honored with the Volkswagen Energy Cup at the aptly named "Think Blue. Factory." Day -- an event to be held annually.

So why so blue, VW?

Company spokesman Scott Vazin explained it this way: "It's our own way of thinking of the environment. It's our own way of defining sustainability for the company."

"Blue is tied to the planet," Vazin added.

VW isn't the only one thinking blue.

Hyundai has introduced Blue Drive, a label that adorns models beginning with the 2009 Elantra and Accent and represents the automaker's alternative powertrains and green initiatives.

Mercedes-Benz markets a lineup of advanced diesel-powered cars and light trucks under the BlueTEC badge.

And then there are Maine, Massachusetts and San Diego. All three have think-blue campaigns, but with a different focus: combating storm water pollution.

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