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Volkswagen is Committed to Biodiversity

Biodiversity

At Volkswagen, biodiversity and the sustainable use of resources play an important role. On the United Nation’s international biodiversity day, the group is launching a call to all of its employees.

Volkswagen trainees Fabien Kepper (left) and Thorben Pingel (right) monitoring wild bees at the Drömling biosphere reserve

Biodiversity means life – in every second and in any location on the planet. Plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms purify the water and the air, while also providing food and medicine. They make the soil fertile and maintain the climate’s equilibrium. In short, they make our lives possible. The preservation of biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

That’s why Volkswagen attaches a very special motto to May 22, 2021, which the United Nations declared the international day of biodiversity: “Living in Harmony with Nature”. All employees are encouraged to describe their past or intended future contribution to biodiversity on the group’s environmental website.

Legal, Ethical and Moral Responsibility

Mapping determines the type and population density of flowering plants.

“The promotion of biodiversity at our production sites and bringing awareness to our employees are equally important to us,” says Dr. Tobias Bahr, environmental management officer at the Volkswagen Group. In 2007, the company was the founding member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative, and, together with other companies, has since been committed to the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity. “Volkswagen supports the UN-convention for the preservation of biological diversity, because we are obligated to it legally, but also ethically and morally,” says Bahr. “Particularly due to our responsibility toward future generations.” After all, the protection of the ecosystems is part of Volkswagen’s environmental management policy.

In recent years, this has led to numerous environmental protection projects, including large-scale activities, as in the Izta-Popo national park near the Mexican production site in Puebla. Due to illegal fire clearing, the soil had dried up to such an extent that it wasn’t able to retain water, even after rain. On an area of 300 hectares, Volkswagen planted a total of 300,000 trees as part of the “Out of Love for the Planet” program. This reforestation effort also stopped the decline of the water table, and since has returned the soils ability to retain water. The project also includes employee training sessions, environmental education for children and the employment of people with disabilities.  

Volkswagen Trainees identify Species and Population Density of Flowering Plants

Trainees Veronica Klingspohn and Annika Adler mapping areas of the Drömling reserve, assisted by Haiko Kuntze, a certified nature and landscape guide.

However, the commitment to biological diversity depends on the actions of every individual. In the past weeks, ten trainees at the Wolfsburg site took part in a mapping effort, as part of a wild bee monitoring project in the Drömling biosphere reserve, with the goal of identifying the species and population density of flowering plants in specific areas, in order to determine the food supply for insects. The effort particularly focused on wild bees, an endangered species in this area. The mapping activity will be repeated in 2021. In total, the project encompasses a period of three years.

Volkswagen AG is a member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative, a coalition of companies working for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity. It also supports the UN-convention for biological diversity. With its decarbonization program, aimed at reducing the CO2 footprint of its fleet by 30 percent by 2025, the Volkswagen group supports a key basis of biodiversity – an intact climate.  

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