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Volkswagen strengthens species protection

On behalf of Biodiversity Day: Group calls on employees and plants to intensify global initiatives

On the occasion of the International Biodiversity Day on 22 May 2019, Volkswagen is calling on all corporate brands and locations to provide support to nature conservation projects and especially conserve insects under the motto “Biodiversity as a livelihood”.

As in previous years, the commitment of employees and company sites is strongly geared to the characteristics and needs of their region. These include measures for insect protection, such as the creation and management of flowering meadows and insect hotels or afforestation with native plants, and the monitoring of species development at the company site and environmental education programs.

In many places, the employees provide the impetus

Among the key commitments of the Volkswagen brand are the reforestation of the Mexican national park Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl with native plants and cooperation with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in South Africa for the protection of sharks and penguines. For example, Audi has converted 17 hectares on the factory premises at the Audi production facility in Münchsmünster into semi-natural habitats for animals and plants, and is renaturating 15 hectares in the IN-Campus, a former industrial wasteland.

Volkswagen Financial Services is particularly committed to the protection and renaturation of peatlands as carbon sinks and is investing several million euros in more than 19 project areas in Germany, Poland and the Baltic States from 2012 to 2022 – in cooperation with the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU). Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, MAN and ŠKODA have initiated large-scale tree planting campaigns. As part of the campaign “For every ŠKODA sold in the Czech Republic” ŠKODA alone ensured that more than 820,000 trees were planted in more than one hundred locations from 2007 to 2018. SEAT supported the establishment of an aboretum in Martorell, Spain. At the Wolfsburg site, Volkswagen Immobilien arranged flowering meadows and deadwood hedges from dead branches and twigs – an ideal habitat for hedgehogs, bees and many other endangered species of insects.

Tree planting at Volkswagen Poznan

In many places, the employees of the Volkswagen Group provide the impetus for the projects. For example, employees in Emden have built insect hotels with their protégés during childcare. In India, a biodiversity forum has been set up to protect butterflies, and at its Chattanooga site in the US, Volkswagen colleagues are collecting seeds from native plants in order to grow them.

Volkswagen AG is a member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative, in which companies have come together for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity. It also supports the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. With its decarbonisation program the Volkswagen Group will reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicle fleet by 30 percent by 2025. That way the company is supporting a central basis for biodiversity: an intact climate.