Can a company like Volkswagen credibly talk about sustainability ever again?
And can we, after the diesel crisis, credibly readdress issues such as environmental protection? These are key questions that the company now has to ask itself – Shift magazine is a first attempt at providing answers.
Shift is part of our reporting on sustainability. In addition to the standard report with its numerous figures and data, prepared according to the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative, this also now includes the new magazine Shift. Both publications came out simultaneously, 14 months after the advent of the diesel crisis.
“The end isn’t yet in sight, but we’re fighting on. The company, our employees, their families and everyone who’s counting on us are worth it.”
A frank, self-critical approach to this issue is necessary to revive interest for Volkswagen’s responses to future issues of the automotive industry. In Shift magazine, the sustainability communication department does not take the floor itself – it gives it to the stakeholders. A representative from each important stakeholder group has gone on record to give us their view on things – a customer, an employee, a dealer, an investor, a businessman from Wolfsburg, as well as the Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and a former Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In Shift, a few highly readable insights – not only into negotiations with the U.S. authorities, but also into his personal mindset – are granted by member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Procurement, Dr Francisco Garcia Sanz, who was the chief negotiator for Volkswagen AG in the United States.
A sustainability magazine would certainly have missed its task if it were to simply omit the major challenges of the automotive industry – alternative drives, digitalization and mobility services. It becomes clear just how challenging the management tasks resulting from the transition to the new mobility and working world are and which interests should be taken into account.