It is the conviction of Volkswagen Financial Services, the global financial services provider in the Volkswagen Group, that its business model can continue to be successful moving ahead only if we act responsibly in the long term.
Volkswagen Financial Services believes that taking responsibility means gearing its decisions to the needs of society as well as its customers, employees and owner.
Volkswagen Financial Services offers a one-stop shop for automotive financial services and develops offerings for tomorrow’s mobility needs.
Volkswagen Financial Services operates internationally, yet has deep local roots. Sustainable, responsible business is vital. Volkswagen Financial Services acts reliably and with the environment in mind, is an attractive employer, and is committed to creating a society that has a sustainable future. It goes without saying that compliance with the law and the company’s values forms the basis of its commercial activities. Volkswagen Financial Services is committed to its obligation to give something back to society.
The three highlight projects 2020
Cooperation with the Neuerkerode Foundation and a donation of €50,000 for digital end-user devices for residents of the foundation’s retirement and nursing homes for the elderly in the coronavirus pandemic
Demographic change and longer life expectancy mean that Volkswagen Financial Services is placing greater focus on the issue of employees who care for relatives. Since the beginning of 2020, the company has cooperated with the Neuerkerode Foundation to offer a counseling service for employees on this subject. In addition, employees can contact a hotline and obtain quick answers in response to pressing questions on the subject of nursing support and help for senior citizens. Persons in need of care are also found places in the group’s establishments, where capacities permit. There are also talks on changing subjects, such as “Nursing care is needed – what now?”, “General power of attorney and living will” and “Palliative care and the Dignity Center.”
€50,000 for residents of the foundation’s retirement and nursing homes for the elderly in the coronavirus pandemic
Right at the start of the pandemic, leading virologists in Germany urged that senior citizens in particular had to be protected in these exceptional times, since the coronavirus poses a greater risk to the elderly. Consequently, there was a strict ban on contacts with residents of retirement and nursing homes for the elderly until June. In order to cushion the psychological effects of this ban on visitors on residents in the establishments run by the Evangelical Neuerkerode Foundation, Volkswagen Financial Services Germany donated €50,000 to it. The foundation used the money to buy tablets so that residents could keep in contact with their family digitally, as well as gaming consoles to promote exercise and add more variety to everyday life.
Cooperation between Volkswagen Financial Services and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)
Volkswagen Financial Services and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) have been working together since 2009 to protect moors and restore them to their natural state. That is because moors are exceptionally important for climate protection and biodiversity.
From 2012 to 2020, Volkswagen Financial Services invested a total of four million euros in the German and International Moor Conservation Fund established together with NABU. In Germany, the money is currently being spent on 13 national project areas. In the international arena, the company supports the European Union's LIFE Peat Restore Project, as a result of which an additional four million euros in public funding has been obtained due to the fact that the basic financing for the project has been secured.
It is an international EU project the NABU is implementing together with its cooperation partners from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Its objective is to renew degraded peatlands and restore their natural function as carbon sinks in the five partner countries.
The joint commitment of Volkswagen Financial Services and NABU has already received several accolades from independent bodies.
Volkswagen Financial Services has encouraged civic commitment by its employees since 2017. Community engagement is a key component of Volkswagen Financial Services’ corporate responsibility strategy. Social success has been, is and will continue to be driven by qualified and dedicated people who go that extra mile in their private life and are guided by clear values.
Volkswagen Financial Services supports innovative and original projects relating to the Braunschweig region with a one-off maximum amount of €5,000. The employee must be personally involved in the project so that the funding can be awarded.
As part of its social commitment, the company has supported eight initiatives: the circus project of the booster club Förderverein für die Grundschule KTK & Kita Veltenhof e.V., the Verein Kinderkrebsfürsorge, an association in Gifhorn which cares for children with cancer, Semmenstedt Volunteer Fire Brigade, the refugee relief association Flüchtlingshilfe Papenteich e.V., Sportverein Lindenberg von 1949 e.V., Junger Kammerchor Braunschweig, KöKi e.V., an association that supports physically handicapped children, and the local section of the German Life Saving Association DLRG OG Vorsfelde e.V.
The Art Mobile provided by Volkswagen Financial Services takes pupils from the Braunschweig region to Wolfsburg Museum of Art free of charge. The successful cooperation between Volkswagen Financial Services and the Museum of Art dates back to 2002. The bus has technical equipment that lets pupils watch a film on the Museum of Art during the journey so that they are playfully prepared for their visit.
The total number of pupils who have visited the Museum of Art in this way from when the project was launched up to 2020 is 81,249.
The project was expanded in 2003: Senior citizens from various institutions, such as residential homes and community centers, have been given the chance to undertake excursions to the Museum of Art and then have a coffee in its restaurant. 8,805 senior citizens have now used the bus shuttle (figure at 2020).
Strong children for a strong future: Foundation – “Our Children in Braunschweig”
The not-for-profit foundation “Unsere Kinder in Braunschweig” (“Our Children in Braunschweig”), which was established by Volkswagen Financial Services AG in December 2008, focuses on socially disadvantaged children. Nine institutions – daycare centers, primary schools and secondary schools – are currently supported by offerings suited to their needs in the fields of education and healthy diet, movement training and early music education. Further institutions, such as sports clubs, a family center, the public health department and youth clubs, are supported as part of one-off campaigns.
The foundation funded projects to a total volume of €162,600 in 2020.
Of that, €89,500 went to education, €33,700 to dietary, €21,200 to music and €18,200 to movement projects.
Award for social and ecological engagement
VW FS has received an award from Europe’s largest non-profit IT company “Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderung” (AfB social & green IT) for its social and ecological engagement: It handed over around 14,000 19-inch to 23-inch monitors it had taken out of service to AfB social & green IT. It is also currently preparing to hand over almost 700 business mobile phones and tablets.
Volkswagen Financial Services is supporting renaturation of the Schunter Meadow near Rühme – in the direct vicinity of the company’s headquarters – with a sum of €340,000. This funding made the project possible in the first place. The project’s total cost is around €3.3 million. The renaturation work is expected to be completed by mid-2022.
E-mobility program “Blue Fleet”
Volkswagen Financial Services and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) are cooperating as part of the e-mobility program “Blaue Flotte” (“Blue Fleet”). As a result, key accounts gain access to all the facets of e-mobility – from fleet analysis, vehicle procurement and advice on infrastructure, to numerous tools and product packages to enable successful operation of an e-fleet. As part of that, Volkswagen Financial Services invests in concrete climate protection measures – namely in moor protection projects of the NABU – to reflect the degree to which the vehicles are used during the term of the lease agreement. One of the core projects is the renaturalization of the Sulinger Moor in Lower Saxony.
Wish list campaignThe Works Council of Volkswagen Financial Services has organized the Christmas wish list campaign for many years. It was again a big success in 2020. 636 wishes were fulfilled. The coronavirus meant that the wish list could not be plucked as usual from a Christmas tree in the Works Council’s offices this year. Instead, colleagues were able to order the wish lists by e-mail and then drop off the presents with the Works Council. The Works Council brought the parcels to children and youngsters at the following institutions:
- St. Nikolaus, Braunschweig
- The midwife foundation “Eine Chance für Kinder”, Braunschweig
- The Remenhof Foundation, Braunschweig
- Diakonisches Werk, Wolfsburg
- Christliches Jugenddorf, Wolfsburg
- Diakonisches Werk, Gifhorn
- Elisabethstift, Salzgitter
- AWO Jugend- und Erziehungshilfen, Braunschweig
In 2020, the donation of €6,700.41 from Volkswagen Financial Services’ workforce went to the food bank Braunschweiger Tafel e.V. and to the foundation “Our Children in Braunschweig.” The donation will be split equally between the two.
Internship to enable recognition of refugees’ vocational IT qualifications
Internship as a bridge to the labor market: Volkswagen Financial Services gives refugees with vocational IT qualifications the chance to obtain supplemental training and upskill so that their prior vocational qualifications are officially recognized. Their opportunities on the labor market are increased by completing such training.
VW FS brings people together – Global engagement with a local focus in the coronavirus crisis
Material and cash donations, sewing face masks, giving staff leave to devote their time to a good cause – our company and colleagues are helping tackle the coronavirus and the crisis worldwide. Thanks to their dedication, they give others confidence and encouragement that they are not completely at the mercy of the virus and its consequences.
Region: North America
Mexico: Around 15,200 meals for the needy
The pandemic has hit the country very hard. It has especially affected people who are too poor to protect or care for themselves. Normal everyday life is already a challenge as it is for people who come to the food bank in Puebla – but the coronavirus is a disaster for them. The food bank distributed around 8,000 donations of food before the coronavirus crisis. Since its outbreak in March, the number of needy people who require this source of food to survive has risen to 32,000. It goes without saying that Volkswagen Financial Services has stepped up to the plate here. The company helped around 15,200 beneficiaries with its donation.
Poland: 30 Volkswagen vans for 30 volunteer fire brigades
Volkswagen Financial Services Poland is supporting volunteer fire brigades by providing 30 Volkswagen vans free of charge. The demands on aid organizations are particularly heavy, especially in the crisis. That is true for the volunteer fire brigades in Poland: They disinfect playgrounds, supply people in quarantine with food, or take people to hospitals. The company wanted to enable mobility and deliver help where it is needed. The volunteer fire brigades have been given the vans for six months, along with a Charge & Fuel Card, with the option of this offer being extended.
India: Financial support for the Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund
Volkswagen Financial Services India is supporting the PM CARES fund. The “Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund” was set up by the government at the end of March 2020 to curb and combat the coronavirus outbreak and other pandemics. The company has supported the fund since then.
Italy: deep-rooted shock
There is still deep-rooted shock at the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the spring. Colleagues from the “Moving Forward” team, the CR Committee of Volkswagen Financial Services Italy, launched a charity auction among employees at the end of March. Thanks to the company’s pledge to match the same amount raised by colleagues, the total sum came to more than €10,000. The donation will benefit the Italian Red Cross and the SorridiMi association. Both organizations are providing valuable support to the health system in the crisis: The Red Cross coordinates emergency management in the country, while SorridiMi’s voluntary workers are active in helping hospitals in the Lombardy region. The Volkswagen Financial Services Italy office is located there.
UK: Help for the region around Milton Keynes
The Rent-a-Car team of Volkswagen Financial Services UK provided the Hope charity for the homeless with a Volkswagen van free of charge. Homeless persons throughout the UK were given temporary accommodation in hotels during the pandemic. The charity also supplies needy people with food parcels that are also donated by VW FS colleagues, among others. Our colleagues also give their time in addition to donating food. Since the closure of the gardens belonging to Willen Hospice and Keech Hospice, which the company regularly supports, employees have done more than 200 hours of voluntary work in them.
Volkswagen Financial Services Czech Republic is supporting its longstanding CR projects during the coronavirus pandemic, such as the Centrum Paraple, a mobility program for people with a spinal cord injury, and the old people’s homes of the non-profit organization Sue Ryder with protective equipment. Colleagues there are also very active in voluntary work. They did gardening at the establishments or sewed faced masks. Fleet colleagues provided the organizations with a total of nine vehicles. The charity organizations used them to deliver food, medication and other aid to the needy, drive homeless people to hospital and transport senior citizens. In acknowledgment of that engagement, the company was awarded the title of “Hero in the battle against the coronavirus” by the “CZECH TOP 100 Association.”
2nd CR stakeholder survey
|Parameters of CR Stakeholder Survey|
||Customers (number: 59)
Suppliers/business partners (33)
VW Group/brands (16)
Interest groups (5)
Civil society (4)
Internal (207): country managers, regional managers, workforce
|Ratio of respondents
||External 43 %
Internal 57 %
Feedback from 27 countries
Survey Results – Management Summary
90 % of respondents expect car financing companies to act responsibly. The majority of respondents now rate this topic as very important (69 % compared with 60 % in 2013).
External stakeholders indicated that the most significant challenge of those listed is “Sustainability as a decision-making criterion for customers and investors”. Employees felt that “Digitalization” is the most important challenge.
Overall, 68 % (2013: 77 %) of the respondents felt that the company’s efforts to act responsibly were credible; about one third of external stakeholders believed these activities were not credible (33 % compared with 27 % in 2013). In total, 64 % of respondents confirmed that their impression of VW FS had been affected by the diesel issue.
General awareness of the company’s efforts to act responsibly has fallen by 9 % overall (2013: 81 %); among external stakeholders by as much as 20 % (2013: 82 %). Internal awareness is somewhat higher, although some topics rated surprisingly low on the awareness scale, such as new mobility concepts, business and procurement processes, and others.
“Great Place to Work”
Volkswagen Financial Services evaluates the degree to which it achieves its goal of being a top employer by taking part regularly in external employer competitions. Its goal is to enhance working conditions and derive appropriate measures so as to capture a spot among the top 20 employers in the Great Place to Work ranking not only in Europe, but also worldwide, by 2025.
Employees again gave their thumbs up for the fourth time in 2019 (after 2012, 2014, and 2016): Volkswagen Financial Services was voted one of Germany’s best employers. Volkswagen Financial Services faced off with the competition again in 2020 and is looking ahead to 2021 full of optimism about achieving good results in the survey. In the nationwide survey by the independent institution “Great Place to Work,” randomly selected employees – from the trainee to the Managing Director – anonymously assessed the company.
Moreover, Volkswagen Financial Services was again voted one of the top 25 employers in Europe in 2019. Six local companies helped achieve that result: France, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Spain and the UK. The company eagerly awaits the 2021 rankings.
Volkswagen Financial Services also received further awards as an employer. It came second in the Best Workplace Award of kununu and iba in the category “Home Office,” for example.