As a global financial services provider within the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Financial Services remains convinced that continuing to work responsibly over the long term is the only way to ensure that the company’s business model succeeds in the future.
For Volkswagen Financial Services, taking responsibility means aligning the company’s decisions with the needs of society, as well as the company’s customers, employees and owner. Volkswagen Financial Services is a one-stop automotive financial services provider, developing products for tomorrow’s mobility requirements today.
While Volkswagen Financial Services operates internationally, the company is embedded locally. Working sustainably and with a responsible attitude is a cornerstone of the company’s culture. Volkswagen Financial Services is reliable and environmentally aware, an attractive employer, and committed to working for a society that is fit for the future. Operating in compliance with the law and the company’s own values is the fundamental precept underlying the company’s business activities. Volkswagen Financial Services has an obligation to give back to society.
The three highlight projects 2018
Volkswagen Financial Services encourages civic commitment by its employees.
Community engagement is a key component of Volkswagen Financial Services’ CR 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 their civic engagement, our employees supported, among other things, the circus project of the booster club at the KTK & Kita Veltenhof e. V. primary school, the Kinderkrebsfürsorge association in Gifhorn, which helps children with cancer and their families, and Semmenstedt Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Cooperation between Volkswagen Financial Services and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)
Volkswagen Financial Services has cooperated with the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) since 2009, with the focus on moor and climate protection.
In that time, Volkswagen Financial Services has won several national and international awards and is the initiator of action to link mobility and protection of natural carbon sinks in moors. The funding in the project between 2009 and 2020 will total around €6.5 million, mainly for the German Moor Conservation Fund (13 national project areas so far) and the NABU’s International Moor Conservation Fund. An additional €4 million in funding comes solely from the EU’s current LIFE Climate Mitigation project Peat Restore – the world’s largest and scientifically most ambitious project of its kind to date.
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 projects in the three Baltic states and Poland will run from 2015 to 2019.
The goal of the cooperation between Volkswagen Financial Services and the NABU is to help the NABU accomplish moor conservation projects.
The successful cooperation between Volkswagen Financial Services and Wolfsburg Museum of Art dates back to 2002. The bus has technical equipment that lets pupils watch a film during the journey so that they are playfully prepared for their visit to the museum.
The total number of pupils who have visited Wolfsburg Museum of Art in this way since the project was launched is 76,436. 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. 8,256 senior citizens have now used the bus shuttle.
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 facilities – daycare centers, primarily schools and secondary schools – are currently provided with permanent support in the shape of funding for educational offerings to suit their specific needs, or initiatives to promote a healthy diet, movement training and early musical education, while other institutions, such as sports clubs, a family center, the Health Department or youth clubs, are provided with support as part of one-off campaigns.
The foundation funded 16 projects to a total volume of €186,222 in 2018. Of that, €63,935 went to education, €46,500 to dietary, €55,887 to music and €19,900 to movement projects.
Strong children for a strong future! How do we help? We support Braunschweig institutions that look after children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We prioritize long-term projects and close collaboration with the specialists who work directly with the children. Nutrition We build awareness of the importance of healthy eating. Music We facilitate a wide range of musical development. Movement
We encourage the children to enjoy movement and team spirit. Education We support all kinds of access to education.
Wish list Campaign
The long-established campaign of the Works Council at Volkswagen Financial Services – the Christmas wish list tree – was again staged successfully this year. Employees of Volkswagen Financial Services take numerous wish lists from the tree and put together lovingly packaged presents, which are then dropped off at the Works Council office. They were then given to children and youngsters from 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 2018, the donation of €6,979.03 from Volkswagen Financial Services’ workforce went to the Hospiz am Hohen Tore in Braunschweig. The hospice was able to purchase a heavy-duty bed with the money.
My Finance Coach
Volkswagen Financial Services has been a partner to the non-profit initiative My Finance Coach since 2017. The initiative’s concept is to teach children and youngsters how to manage money responsibly.
The initiative has reorganized itself. Instead of regular classroom visits, the training is now held as part of project weeks. That slashes the time and organizational work needed by the Finance Coaches (employees who volunteer to go to the schools) from Volkswagen Financial Services. The teaching materials have also been converted from an analog to a digital format.
Volkswagen Financial Services is thus a digitalization partner of My Finance Coach. Volkswagen Financial Services and My Finance Coach are working together to establish the “Online Finance Academy.” This is an extensive web portal pooling the My Finance Coach modules “Buying,” “Planning,” “Saving,” “Risk Management,” “Environment and Economy” and “Online.”
Volkswagen Financial Services also became patron of the German National Finance Competition in 2018. Anthony Bandmann, Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Leasing GmbH, opened the German National Finance Competition in Berlin as its patron. The competition’s objective is to promote the basic economic education of secondary school pupils by means of challenging and attractive tasks.
In addition, Volkswagen Financial Services has a place on the jury of the German National Finance Competition, which is a core component of the educational offering from My Finance Coach. The competition, which covers all types of school, accompanies the youngsters for an entire school year.
Renaturation of the Schunter floodplain in Braunschweig
In the 19th century, the River Schunter, which is located in the direct vicinity of Volkswagen Financial Services’ headquarters in Braunschweig, was realigned for agricultural reasons, to enable navigability or to generate water power. As a result, the river was canalized and the water simply surges through.
Renaturation of the Schunter floodplain means the course of the river will be restored to a more natural state, with the result that the typical diversity of species and biotopes will be able to become established again under these conditions. The hydraulic situation will be improved by the change in the speed and length of the river’s flow. If flooding or heavy rain occurs, the water can spread out better, the peak discharges are cushioned, and fewer areas – which may perhaps be inhabited – are flooded. The project is thus also an active means of protection against flooding. A further advantage is that islands are created between the meanders and are only accessible to natural wildlife. That means areas are created where threatened species of birds, amphibians and even various groups of insects feel at home. They are a source of food or a habitat where they can live and reproduce.
Restoring the floodplain to a more natural state improves the water body structure, obstacles to migration are reduced, and the inherent dynamism of the flowing water is strengthened. The natural course of a waterway is therefore always the one that is ecologically better.
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
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 progress toward achievement of the company’s goal to become a top employer by regularly participating in “best employer” competitions organized by third parties. The aim is to use this feedback to develop working conditions and devise suitable initiatives to be rated as one of the TOP20 employers in the Great Place to Work employer rankings by 2025 – not just in Europe, but in the world.
In the year under review, the company suspended its participation in the Great Place to Work in Europe survey due to the Europe-wide reorganization; the next entry is slated for 2019. However, Volkswagen Financial Services received numerous other employer awards. In Germany, for example, both FOCUS magazine and employer rating platform kununu respectively awarded the company the title of “Top Company” and “Best Employer in Germany” for the second time in a row. The company’s Dutch subsidiary was awarded the “Best Employers” title by Dutch employer benchmark survey Effectory & Intermediair. Finally, the company’s Mexican subsidiary placed among the TOP100 employers in the Great Place to Work rankings.