The Volkswagen Golf Plus is unmistakably based on the Golf, sharing engines, chassis and many other technical components. However, the body and interior have been totally redesigned, giving the newcomer a unique and individual identity. The VW Golf Plus is taller than the hatchback by 95 mm, features higher seats - 75 mm higher in the front and 85 mm in the back - and enjoys increased luggage space with a capacity ranging from 395 to 505 litres. These increased dimensions offer the occupants more space, including 25 mm extra leg room, whilst increasing versatility and functionality.
Due to differing requirements, the designers and engineers of the Volkswagen Golf Plus had to recreate doors, bonnet, bumpers, wings, roof, headlights and tail lights for the new model. The only body parts the Golf and the Golf Plus share are the door mirrors, 'VW' logo, door handles, and the antenna for the optional navigation system.
The overall appearance of the Volkswagen Golf Plus - in particular the grille and C-pillars - were inspired by the look inherited from over three decades of Golf evolution. However, while the Golf Plus is obviously a Golf, it is also immediately apparent that it is a new model.
The V-shaped bonnet and radiator grille emulate that of the Golf hatchback. Yet while this 'V' can be found between the front wings of the Golf hatchback, the proportions used in the VW Golf Plus are different. The 'V' moves into the wings, while the line of the bonnet becomes more vertical as it meets the windscreen. In this respect, the Golf Plus follows the design set by both the Touran and the Touareg, meeting the demands of a comparably tall vehicle, as in this case the bonnet must form a more homogeneous shape with the windscreen.
The headlights, with their three round integrated elements (indicator, low beam and high beam), are large and distinctive. These extend, as with the Touareg, far into each front wing. Directional headlights feature as an option, where the beam follows the direction of steering, offering a clear safety advantage by enabling the driver to see further into bends.
At the rear, the bold trapezoid tail lights lend a high quality appearance to the Volkswagen Golf Plus. Using bright LED components for the tail lights, brake lights and indicators, they follow the style set by the Phaeton luxury saloon, and are a first for this class of car. In contrast to conventional light bulbs, LED lights have a far faster response time and tend to have a longer life. The inner parts of the lighting unit, featuring the fog lights and reverse lamps, are fitted with conventional light bulbs as they are used far less often than the main lights.
The aerodynamics of the Volkswagen Golf Plus were carefully considered in the early design stages of the new model. Before a scale model of the Golf Plus was even built, engineers carried out an analysis of flow behaviour on the body. Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology, the design model was tested aerodynamically in a virtual environment.
These balanced aerodynamic properties not only lead to improved performance and fuel consumption but also to better driving dynamics, safety and stability at speed and in cross winds. The VW Golf Plus has a drag coefficient of 0.32.
Compared with the Golf, all seats in the Golf Plus are positioned higher, for an even better view. The position of the steering column and the angle of the accelerator pedal have been ergonomically adjusted to the higher seating position.
On every Volkswagen Golf Plus, the rear seat bench can be split 60/40, while the seat backs can be folded down in a split of approximately 40/20/40. The seats can also be moved independently from one another up to 160 mm laterally. Adjustment is performed easily using the lever under each seat section. The angle of the back rests in the rear can also be adjusted in multiple settings, which helps when catering for a child seat.
The seat backs are easy to fold down by pulling on a loop to release the catch. When the rear seats are lowered, the mechanism automatically lowers the seat, to provide an almost level load space.
The centre rear seat back in the VW Golf Plus can be folded down for extra storage space. Usually, the back becomes a table with integrated cup holders. However, a pad can also be used to transform it into a comfortable centre armrest. In addition, a large, multifunctional compartment with integrated cup holders is available as an option.
The boot floor is variable with different height settings. The dual position floor tray may be set at two different heights. The lower position provides maximum space and the upper position gives a flat floor and hidden stowage for sports gear or a folding pushchair.
Up to 1,450 litres of storage capacity is available if the backs of the rear seats are lowered completely. In addition, the Volkswagen Golf Plus features up to 43 storage spaces, depending on specification.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus is available with two climate control systems: semi-automatic 'Climatic' air conditioning as standard; or fully automatic 2Zone 'Climatronic' air conditioning offered as an option.
Both systems feature a pollen filter which operates in both fresh-air and recirculating-air mode, plus a coolable glovebox.
The Climatic air conditioning system maintains the desired cabin temperature automatically regardless of the temperature outside. The only difference between it and a fully automatic system is that the speed and direction of the airflow is operated manually.
The fully automatic Climatronic air conditioning system was designed as a two-zone system. The driver and passenger can set their own desired temperatures independently from one another. The temperature for both sides is shown to within a half degree of accuracy in separate displays. It is not necessary to readjust when outside conditions change. Even the intensity of sunlight on the driver and passenger side is detected separately and fed into the control.
In combination with the Climatronic system, the Volkswagen Golf Plus also provides indirect ventilation via an additional air vent. In this case the air vent is located on top of the facia in place of the integrated storage compartment normally provided. The interior is ventilated by creating air flow without drafts, an approach similar to the one first demonstrated in the Phaeton. Additional optional air vents are available for the back section of the middle console, adding improved air conditioning comfort in the back.
As in the Golf hatchback, the climate control system automatically switches to recirculating air when reverse gear is selected or when the windscreen washer is activated, to prevent undesirable odours from entering the cabin.
Volkswagen enjoys a hard won reputation for quality and knows that it must make an even greater commitment in design, materials, development, quality control and many other areas if it is to retain its lead.
By designing the VW Golf Plus to make use of some major and minor components including nuts, bolts, washers and fixings used in other Group products - in particular the Golf hatchback - Volkswagen is able to purchase high quality components and materials in bulk. By saving costs in these areas, Volkswagen has more resource to spend on quality items specific to the Volkswagen Golf Plus such as the body shell and trim components.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus features six engines: 1.4-litre 80 PS, 1.4-litre TSI 122 and 160 PS petrol units; plus 1.9-litre TDI 90 PS, 1.9-litre TDI 105 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS diesels.
The technically advanced designs of both the TSI and TDI power units result in class-leading efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
1.4-litre, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 80 PS
The entry-level engine of the Volkswagen Golf Plus range is the proven 16-valve 1.4-litre unit featured in the Golf, which has been uprated to 80 PS. Maximum power output is 80 PS at 5,000 rpm and maximum torque of 97 lbs ft is delivered at 3,800 rpm.
In June 2006, Volkswagen launched the latest in a line of pioneering inventions with the introduction of TSI petrol technology. Previous engines have used FSI technology, whereby petrol is injection directly into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Taking this further, TSI uses - for the first time ever - an FSI engine which is then dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series. A new 122 PS TSI unit, introduced in October 2007, uses simply a sophisticated turbocharger.
The driving characteristics of TSI engines are improved over those of a conventional FSI unit. The belt-driven supercharger operates at the lower engine speeds, with the turbocharger coming in as engine speed increases. The result of this is excellent driveability and performance throughout the range with no turbo lag and high maximum torque.
Key to the TSI's success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute. This enables the relatively small engine to use very high gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds. As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.
The TSI engines have a capacity of 1.4-litres (1,390 cc) and produce either 122, 140 or 170 PS (not available in VW Golf Plus). The 170 PS version has the same peak power as a conventional 2.3-litre petrol unit but with 20 per cent lower fuel consumption, returning over 38 mpg on the combined cycle.
TSI technology has received international acclaim, having been named Best New Engine of 2006 in the International Engine of the Year Awards as well as winning its category in the same awards in 2007 and 2008.
1.4-litre 1390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 122 PS
This unit replaced the Volkswagen Golf Plus's popular 1.6-litre FSI 115 PS unit. Power is up to 122 PS while torque is also increased substantially by nearly 30 per cent to 200 Nm (145 lbs ft) and this is delivered across a much broader speed range, from 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.
The new engine also brings fuel saving benefits: the combined consumption is 42.8 mpg (44.1 for seven-speed DSG) while carbon dioxide emissions stand at 157 g/km for the standard six-speed manual (149 g/km for DSG).
1.4-litre TSI, 1390 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 160 PS
This engine replaced the 140 PS TSI petrol unit in summer 2008. It produces 160 PS at 5,800 rpm and 240 Nm (177 lbs ft) of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. Combined consumption is 41.5 mpg (43.5 for seven-speed DSG) with CO2 emissions of 159 g/km (153 g/km DSG).
1.9-litre TDI, 1896 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 90 PS
This adaptation of Volkswagen's renowned and award-winning 1.9-litre TDI engine complies with Euro 4 emissions legislation. It is the entry-level diesel engine in the Golf Plus range. The unit develops its maximum power output of 90 PS at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 210 Nm (155 lbs ft) at 1,800 rpm. A combined consumption figure of 51.4 mpg makes this a popular frugal choice.
1.9-litre TDI, 1896 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 105 PS
This version of Volkswagen's reputable 1.9-litre TDI engine also features a number of improvements which enable it to comply with Euro 4 emissions legislation. The unit develops its maximum power output of 105 PS at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) at 1,900 rpm.
This engine returns 52.3 mpg on the combined cycle and 146 g/km of carbon dioxide (159 for six-speed DSG). This engine is also available with the option of a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which reduces particulate matter almost to zero.
2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS
Not only one of the most powerful diesel engines in this sector but also the first Volkswagen turbocharged diesel to combine the innovative unit-injector system with four valves per cylinder, the 2.0-litre TDI was introduced with the Touran.
In the W Golf Plus, where it is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, the unit delivers 140 PS at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. Despite its lively nature, the Golf Plus 2.0-litre TDI returns impressive fuel economy of 48.7 mpg, and complies with the Euro 4 emissions standard. Carbon dioxide emissions are 153 g/km. This engine is also available with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox as well as with a DPF.
Principal design features include: twin overhead camshafts, valves operated by low-friction roller cam followers with hydraulic clearance adjusters and unit injectors actuated by roller-rockers from the exhaust camshaft. As in other TDI engines, a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG) is used, which improves response at low engine speeds.
This transmission is fitted as standard to the 1.4-litre 80 PS petrol unit, the 1.9-litre TDI 90 PS and the 1.9-litre TDI 105 PS diesel.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS, 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS models are equipped as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and very short lever movements. Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action. Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.
DSG - Direct Shift Gearbox
The Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.9-litre 105 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS models can be combined with the six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) in SE and Sport models. DSG is a true innovation, combining the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the agility and economy of a manual unit.
The six-speed, transversely mounted DSG has two wet clutches (offering a higher thermal load tolerance than dry clutches) with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the 'odd' gears plus reverse, while the other operates the 'even' gears. Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.
With this new clutch management system, the breaks in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur. This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.
This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.
Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.
The 1.4-litre TSI 122 and 160 PS as well as the 1.9-litre TDI 105 PS with DPF can also be combined with Volkswagen's latest gearbox: a seven-speed DSG. This, another world-first for the manufacturer, uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance. The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system. Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact.
In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill. By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of raising economy and comfort levels.
The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent. The oil circuits are split into two in an effort to protect the lubrication's purity. As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators. Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil was reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7-litres in the new seven-speed system.
In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection.
All gearboxes in the VW Golf Plus are filled with lifetime oil and need no routine maintenance.
A new era for Volkswagen suspension design was ushered in with the arrival of the Touran; the Golf was the second model in the range to benefit from the development of a completely new four-link rear suspension system, which is shared by the VW Golf Plus.
Ride and handling benefit notably from the system, with attendant active safety benefits, and the new rear axle configuration has also enabled an enlarged through-load width in the luggage compartment.
Electro-mechanical power steering is another feature designed to enhance the driving experience, while a new braking system complete with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) ensures rapid and safe deceleration.
When the fifth generation Golf was designed, numerous enhancements were made to its proven strut-type front suspension to offer more direct steering ratio, improved axle rigidity under lateral force and reduced body roll. These improvements are shared with the Golf Plus.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus features a new mounting concept for the lower wishbone. This improves ride and handling, along with the separate mounting of springs and dampers on the suspension strut tower, a newly developed twin-sleeve damper unit and optimised spring rates.
Multi-link rear axle
The Volkswagen Golf Plus has the same compact, independent rear suspension system developed for the Golf Mk V. It brings improvements to both ride quality and handling. An upper and lower transverse arm and a longitudinal link on each side control wheel location. This arrangement provides separate control of the longitudinal and lateral movement of wheel location. For occupants the benefits are a more comfortable ride and less body roll in corners. The driver will notice better handling with safe, controllable and involving dynamic behaviour. A lightweight, tubular anti-roll bar is used at the rear.
A principal feature that adds to refinement is a rear sub-frame that isolates the rear suspension from the body. The sub-frame is also very light, due to the use of high-tensile steel. Among the benefits of the almost neutral layout are excellent straight-running stability on uneven road surfaces and minimised tyre wear.
Electro-mechanical power steering
The electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) first seen on the Touran, followed by the Golf, is also employed in the VW Golf Plus. Unlike previous electro-mechanical steering systems, it is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.
Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centring action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus features a sophisticated braking system, with ABS and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) as standard across the range.
The new-generation ESP system developed for the Golf and Golf Plus has a range of features designed to have a direct and positive effect on active safety, including:
ABS - Anti-lock Braking System
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide. Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine's power. In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.
This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend. In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.
Hydraulic Brake Assist - HBA
Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a 'normal' braking situation or an emergency stop. In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions. The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.
The high levels of body rigidity brought about by the advanced construction techniques employed in the Volkswagen Golf Plus make it safe, thanks to the strength inherent in the body. Key to this is the employment of laser seam welding in the construction of the VW Golf Plus.
In the event of a high-speed offset accident, an extremely strong front cross-member ensures that energy is efficiently absorbed even on the side of the car furthest from the impact. The side members have been adapted to meet this requirement by means of 'Tailored Blank' technology: a maximum amount of energy is absorbed in the front section of the car and only then does the rear side member section deform, thus reducing footwell intrusion.
Further protection of the footwell is achieved by the use of a cross-member to distribute longitudinal forces to the sill, the underfloor side-member and a stiffened transmission tunnel. COF, or Crash-Optimised Foot controls, retract forwards in a crash to reduce the risk of foot injury.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus features high levels of passenger protection against side impacts due to the use of high-strength body panels and a three-layer B-pillar structure. Impact loads are spread more uniformly as a result, preventing localised overloading. High-strength side reinforcements are employed in the doors.
The latest safety standard requirements were taken into consideration in the design of the rear protection systems in the Golf Plus. These new regulations require that, when the rear is struck by a deformable barrier at 50 mph, the fuel tank system must develop no leaks. Thus the tank filler neck and associated pipework is located ahead of the rear wheel, outside the crumple zone.
A high-strength bumper cross-member ensures that impact loads are distributed as evenly as possible to both sides of the car.
For active safety measures, please see Braking section.
The Golf name has always been synonymous with safety, and in the VW Golf Plus, the well-being of all occupants is paramount. All models feature:
twin front airbags
In the event of an accident, the Volkswagen Golf Plus belt tensioners are electrically triggered by a central control unit. Belt tensioning ensures the best performance, with energy being absorbed over a longer period of time with more moderate deceleration values. Both front and rear seat belt systems are fitted with force limiters which prevent excessive pressure being applied to the chest in the event of an accident; while newly-designed inertia-reel seat belts ensure excellent passenger comfort.
The front restraint system of the Volkswagen Golf Plus consists of a driver's airbag with a volume of 60 litres and a front passenger airbag of 120 litres. A further feature is the steering column, which has a highly engineered clamp for longitudinal and vertical adjustment. This clamp helps prevent the steering wheel moving upwards in the event of a crash. The underside of the steering column is also covered with an energy-absorbing trim to reduce knee and thigh forces, while a rigid footwell with forward-retracting brake and clutch pedals reduce loads on the feet.
The side airbags of the VW Golf Plus are integrated in the front seat backrests. They protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and suit the car's rigid side structure, while an innovative sensor concept means even faster triggering times. Integrating the side airbags in the backrests ensures optimum positioning of the driver and front passenger with respect to the airbags.
Curtain airbag system
The Volkswagen Golf Plus has especially large curtain airbags which cover the side window areas from the A- to the C-pillar and from the headlining down to over the doorsill. The result of this feature is that maximum protection is afforded to all outer seat positions regardless of passenger body size. The fact that these airbags cover such a large area prevents the head from swinging out, and keeps limbs inside the vehicle. They also prevent objects from penetrating the interior even in the event of the car rolling over.
An Isofix child seat has been developed for very small passengers in the Volkswagen Golf Plus, with a target age group between eight months and four years (or 9 to 18 kgs). It fits into the Isofix fixtures, which are standard in the two outer rear seats. This type of fitting ensures that the seat is secured in place to optimum effect.
Factory fit options
A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the VW Golf Plus, allowing buyers to customise further their vehicles. These include an electric tilt/slide sunroof, a towbar, a wide variety of alloy wheels, sports suspension (standard on Sport models), and a satellite navigation system. Air conditioning upgrades are also optional, as is leather upholstery.
Bi-Xenon headlights with directional system
Ultra-efficient gas discharge (bi-Xenon) headlights are offered as an option across the range. These provide a well focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights. This option includes a self-levelling mechanism and high pressure headlight wash. In addition directional headlights, included with bi-Xenon lights, turn with the steering to a maximum swivelling angle of 15 degrees, providing better visibility around bends. When the vehicle is static, these are able to turn to 35 degrees in relation to the car's axis.
Also available across the range is a parking distance control system, which simplifies parking manoeuvres in confined spaces. The system uses four ultrasonic sensors, integrated in the rear bumper, to pinpoint parked vehicles or other objects behind the car. Automatically activated when reverse gear is selected, the system produces an audible warning signal to guide the driver up to a safe distance to any objects behind. Not only does this help to avoid car park knocks, it could also prevent accidents, for example, if a child runs out who may not have been seen.
RNS 510: touchscreen navigation/radio system
The Volkswagen Golf Plus is offered with the option of a factory-fit touch-screen DVD navigation and entertainment system. Designated the RNS 510 the installation features a large touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.
As well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit. The hard-drive can also be used to store navigation mapping. In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.
For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning. Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System). The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.
The driver or passenger can use the screen to pinpoint where the car is on a moving map display. A traffic jam avoidance facility will be able to calculate alternative routes and the radio can memorise the latest traffic information bulletin even when switched off.
The Volkswagen Golf Plus is sold with Volkswagen-designed stereo equipment. This is integrated with the vehicle and ergonomically designed for ease and safety of operation and maximum security. On Luna models, the in-car entertainment system has, as standard, four speakers; but this system can be upgraded to ten as an option.
All VW Golf Plus models have a dash-mounted CD player as standard. This can be upgraded to an armrest-mounted six-disc CD autochanger for a small premium.
Available across the range, this pack offers a variety of features designed to give maximum convenience to driver and passengers. The pack comprises surrounding area lighting and electrically-foldable door mirrors, the mirrors also adjust automatically to provide a kerb-view on the passenger side when reverse gear is selected.
The VW Golf Plus is being built exclusively at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg factory in Germany, which employs the latest production system. The Volkswagen Golf Plus has a substantial amount of laser-welded seams, helping it to achieve impressive levels of body rigidity.
Ecological considerations and the responsible handling of natural resources are central to the Volkswagen corporate philosophy. Long before the European Used Car Directive and the resulting national legislation came into force, Volkswagen had set itself a number of environmental objectives, including the reduction of CO2 emissions and effective recycling methods.
Volkswagen set a target for the Golf Plus that 95 per cent of its weight should be recyclable by 2015, and this has had its effect on the choice of environmentally compatible materials and technologies employed during production. For example, the use of PVC sealant has been significantly reduced thanks to the increased use of under-body sealing panels.
As well as optimising its vehicle construction technology, Volkswagen is also leading the way in the development of new methods for the preparation and recycling of plastics, and is also developing ever-more stringent processes for the efficient handling of resources such as water, energy and materials.