Image Attribute: Volkswagen employees Alejandra Tiscareño and Selene Velarde García support the environmental project EcoChavos / DB2016AL02276 / Source: Kevin Steele, Volkswagen Media Services
Throughout the world, the Volkswagen brand is involved in 100 environmental and social projects for people beyond the factory gates. This is highlighted by the Sustainability Report of the Volkswagen Group. An interactive world map shows all the current CSR projects in the fields of education and science, equal opportunities, voluntary work, health, culture and arts, environmental protection, regional support, sports and traffic education.
With innovative vehicles, smart mobility solutions and commitment to sustainability in a variety of areas, the Volkswagen brand and Group want to play an active role in realizing development targets laid down in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 for combating poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for everyone.
Volkswagen presents its key projects. Part 1: Mexico
Volkswagen is the first private sponsor of the "Corredor Ecológico de la Sierra Madre Oriental" (CESMO), a corridor for the preservation of biodiversity in North-East Mexico. The mountainous region has a total area of 4 million hectares and extends over five federal states of Mexico including Puebla. About 650 vulnerable plant and animal species have their habitat here. They are endangered by the uncontrolled expansion of arable land and pastures as well as urbanization.
Volkswagen has made available €260,000 for a project under which about 1,000 young environmental ambassadors have been trained in this region since 2014. The "EcoChavos" ("environmental youths") are to sensitize 10,000 people in their surroundings to the importance of nature conservation and environmental protection. Specifically, 30 EcoChavos groups have implemented 32 projects including the adoption of 30 hectares of forests, the planting of bamboo and the cleaning of 80 km of river bed.
With CESMO, Mexico is contributing to achieving the goals of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – with the advice and support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – the German International Development Agency).
In addition, Volkswagen de México has funded the reforestation of 750 hectares in the Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park with about 490,000 Alpine conifers since 2008, with a contribution to date of about €1.4 million. The objective is to channel more rain and melt water into Puebla's groundwater reserves. A similar project is in place in Guanajuato, near to the new engine plant.
For 10 years, Volkswagen de México has also supported Mexican scientists in the conservation of vulnerable plant and animal species. To date, the program "Por Amor al Planeta" (for the love of the planet) has awarded 14 grants of about €30,000 each. The award-winners are selected by a jury including six Mexican scientists with an international reputation.
The "A Day for the Future" initiative was founded in 2002 in cooperation with the Works Council. Employees voluntarily donate one day's wages and the company provides matching funds. To date, the program has donated a total of €2 million to 250 projects dedicated to helping sick, orphaned, abandoned or disabled children.
Volkswagen also supports the "Casa del Sol" (house of the sun) orphanage that cares for young children who have been orphaned or abused. The objective is to stabilize the condition of the children with medical and psychological care, a balanced diet and nursery school education so that they can be placed with a foster family or re-integrated into their own families before they reach school age.
Volkswagen de México cooperates with Mexican universities for the training of automotive engineers. The key project is the automotive engineering course established at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in 2009. Volkswagen was closely involved in the development of the curriculum and provides support in the form of scholarships, internships, laboratory use and expert advice. To date, more than 400 students have participated in the degree program.