Image Attribute: Screenshot is taken from Volkswagen Sustainability Report's Website
With 'TOGETHER – Strategy 2025', the Volkswagen Group has set itself the ambitious target of becoming a global leader in the supply of sustainable mobility. In doing so, the Group is further strengthening its sustainability management and at the same time promoting a culture of debate. As a reaction to the loss of trust caused by the diesel crisis, Volkswagen is also changing its sustainability communications by clearly strengthening open and critical dialogue with external experts and representatives of stakeholder groups. Alongside the conventional sustainability report, the new sustainability magazine Shift offers space for critically looking at and appraising both current issues and the future requirements for sustainable mobility.
The transformation initiated by Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Müller is also reflected in the newly published sustainability report. The report, produced to Global Reporting Initiative standards (GRI G4) and certified by independent auditors, is, for example, being made available online only for the first time. Brought out to supplement the conventional report is the new sustainability magazine Shift. Self-critical and combative Shift for the first time actively makes strong reference to the expectations and arguments of the surrounding political and social world.
Referring to international climate agreements, Müller demands in the new sustainability magazine Shift that the automotive industry must "continually lower" the CO2 emissions of their fleets "towards zero by 2050". With data protection and security in mind, Matthias Müller also rejects "automation of everything possible" when it comes to digitalisation. The words of the Chairman of the Board of Management in full: "Far-reaching ethical issues need to be clarified. While something might be possible it must only be implemented if people also want it." That too, he said, is part "of how we see sustainable mobility."
The 54-page magazine provides plenty of space to tackle the diesel crisis with critical topics and contributions, with essays, reports, comment pieces, debates, pro and contra items and infographics.
Numerous external writers – including William Reilly, former Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Peter Mock, European Managing Director of the environmental research network ICCT, and Professor Klaus Töpfer, former executive director of UNEP – place on the record how they see things from their own critical perspective.
Featuring experts and renowned environmentalists, including Dr Axel Friedrich, former head of division of the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA), Dietmar Oeliger, deputy departmental head of NABU, Markus Beckedahl, editor in chief of netzpolitik.org, and Andrea Voßhoff, Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, the magazine illustrates differing perspectives on conflicting objectives and dilemmas that are hindering the required transformation of the automotive industry.
Further topics covered by the sustainability report include the appointment of an international advisory council, the improvement of risk management and compliance, the Group brands' 87 model versions with a maximum of 95 g CO2/km and the reduction in pollution of 21.5 per cent achieved in the production operation within five years. In addition, the Volkswagen Group has despite challenging general conditions voluntarily implemented around 200 sustainability projects around the world with NGOs and other partners in the last year.
The 2015 Group Sustainability Report can be found here: http://sustainabilityreport2015.volkswagenag.com/