Biodiversity plays an important role at many Volkswagen Group sites. Numerous measures are being implemented with the support of employees: Trees and shrubs throughout the facilities contribute to climate protection and at the same time provide a habitat for insects and animals.
Sites support biodiversity of plants and animals
Volkswagen Slovakia bundles a particularly large number of individual projects, making it one of the pioneers in the Group when it comes to biodiversity. The diversity of flora and fauna is supported across the company’s sites: At the Bratislava plant, for example, more than 3,000 square meters of grassland have been turned into meadowland. They provide a habitat for small animals and insects and provide nourishment for bees. At the Stupava site, 20 trees were also planted whose blossoms are also used by honeybees. During the summer, trees also counteract overheating of the soil and, thanks to their large leaves, they absorb a particularly large amount of CO₂. There are more than 1,800 trees at the Bratislava plant – and more are to be planted.
At other locations, too, there are many trees between the production halls; in Emden, for example, there are almost 800. Volkswagen Poznań employees have replanted around 50,000 trees near the plants in Poznań and Września over the past two years – a severe storm had hit the region hard and destroyed 650 hectares of forest. Across the Group, 2.5 million trees have been planted to date.
Home for wildlife
The off-road tracks at Porsche Leipzig and Volkswagen Slovakia are also home to many larger animals. While in Slovakia it is mainly hares, the Porsche site in Saxony is home to around 30 Exmoor ponies and 75 wild cattle. Numerous other wildlife species such as pheasants, black kites, amphibians, brown hares, roe deer and bats are also at home on the site.
Factories as a habitat for insects
In addition to creating natural habitats, employees in Slovakia have also built insect hotels and set them up on the plant premises in Bratislava. At Audi’s Neckarsulm site, an employee looks after ten beehives. Porsche Leipzig has been accommodating bees at its plant since 2017 – 1.5 million in 2018. Fifty colonies with a total of around three million bees now live on a 132-hectare natural area. The aim is to contribute to safeguarding the honeybee population and thus to nature conservation. By the way: The honey is available under the name “Turbienchen” in the Porsche Shop at the Leipzig plant.
One car = one tree
Since 2007, ŠKODA has been planting a tree for every car sold in its home market of the Czech Republic. By the end of 2021, this figure will have risen to more than 1,010,000 across 150 different locations in the Czech Republic. This corresponds to almost 210 hectares of new forest, or an area equivalent to 321 soccer fields. The trees are planted by ŠKODA employees, employees of the brand’s car dealerships and customers, among others.
Bentley: Living wall
Bentley has installed a living wall at its headquarters in Crewe, England. It consists of more than 2,600 plants and is attached to one of the outer walls of a production hall. Thanks to 28 different species of ferns, grasses and evergreens, the living wall thrives all year round. An intelligent system that takes into account the amount of rain that has fallen is used for irrigation. The installation supports local biodiversity as well as the 300,000 bees that Bentley has settled on the edge of the site and the more than 1,000 flowers on the factory grounds.