Friday, December 09, 2005

Volkswagen Presents First Sustainability Report

Text from Volkswagen AG.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - Volkswagen AG presented its first Group-wide Sustainability Report under the motto of “Moving Generations” in Wolfsburg today.

The motto stands for both traditional and a vision of the future and thus unites the two core tasks: To safeguard the future of the Group and support sustainable mobility.

This is the first report to deal comprehensively with environmental protection, economics and social responsibility. A further innovative feature is that coverage has been extended to the Volkswagen Group and therefore includes all brands, companies and service providers in which the Group holds more than 50 percent of the capital.

Reinhold Kopp, Plenipotentiary of Volkswagen AG and Head of Corporate Government Relations, commented: “Sustainability reporting creates transparency to safeguard credibility and trust, and is at the same time an invitation for a critical dialog with our stakeholders.”

The Group-wide Sustainability Report discusses the challenges of the future as well as conflicting goals and potential approaches to solving them adopted by Volkswagen: On the product side, the objective is to offer models that convince customers in respect of price, performance, safety, environmental benefits and comfort.

“Innovative engines such as the TDI and TSI as well as the TFSI are examples of powerful and efficient diesel and petrol engines and are already available in series models. The fusion of petrol and diesel engines seen in the new combined combustion technology in conjunction with synthetic fuels as well as hybrid technology are examples of our approach to sustainable mobility for the foreseeable future. At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi showcased a hybrid version of the Q7, which will also be on sale from 2008 onwards,” underlined Matthias Rabe, Executive Director Group Research at Volkswagen AG.

Volkswagen’s global responsibility also encompasses an accident research project in Shanghai and plans to launch a Touran Hybrid model in time for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. With regard to social issues, innovative employment models are another contributory factor in the ability to master the future. The “Declaration on Social Rights and Industrial Issues” established worldwide standards for employee relations – making Volkswagen the first company in the automotive sector to do so.

The print version of the Sustainability Report is closely networked with the newly established Group Sustainability Portal: With immediate effect, www.volkswagen-sustainability.com provides comprehensive information on the brands and companies in the Volkswagen Group, our sustainability guidelines and our vision of sustainable mobility. Topics such as intelligent lightweight design, powertrain and fuel strategy, occupational safety policy and the Social Charta which are briefly outlined in the report are discussed in detail in the Group Sustainability Portal.

The Volkswagen Group Sustainability Report was drawn up with reference to the international guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The completeness, strengths, weaknesses and consistency of the report were examined by Dr. Claus Fichter and Dr. Jens Clausen of Borderstep Institut für Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit. The Independent Review Statement is included in the Sustainability Report.

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