International Biodiversity Day: Škoda Auto supports biodiversity around the world

› Škoda Auto adopts a variety of measures to preserve biodiversity around its production sites worldwide
› Car manufacturer plans to plant more than 70,000 trees this year through its ‘Škoda Trees’ programme
› Škoda Auto Endowment Fund launches ‘Krakonoš Gardens’ funding initiative for biodiversity projects
› India: Site in Pune is home to more than 340 plant, tree and animal species; Oxygen park in Aurangabad consists of 36,500 trees

Mladá Boleslav, 22 May 2023 – To mark the International Day for Biological Diversity, Škoda Auto is presenting selected measures and projects aimed at supporting the preservation of biodiversity at its production sites worldwide. The company’s employees play an active role in implementing these environmental protection measures. Škoda Auto combines its comprehensive commitments to sustainability along the entire value chain under the umbrella of its GreenFuture strategy.

, “As an international car manufacturer, Škoda Auto is keenly aware of its environmental responsibilities. Further minimising the ecological impact of our business activities is and will remain a crucial aspect of our corporate strategy. At our sites around the world, we are fully committed to preserving and restoring biodiversity – even beyond our factory gates. Employee engagement is key and plays a central role in this; every year Škodians launch projects together and help protect our environment over the long term.”

Michael Oeljeklaus, Škoda Auto Board Member for Production and Logistics

More than 70,000 new trees in 2023
Since 2007, the car manufacturer has been planting one sapling for every vehicle it delivers to customers in the Czech Republic, surpassing the one million mark in 2021. Škoda dealers and customers have also been involved since 2017. More than 70,000 new trees will be added in 2023 alone. These trees retain water in the soil and prevent erosion, while also contributing to biodiversity and keeping ecosystems in balance. In collaboration with the Partnership Foundation, the initiative again offers a funding programme this year, for which cities, municipalities, non-profit organisations, schools, national parks and other institutions across the country can apply to support their projects. The organisations receiving funding purchase the seedlings, while Škoda Auto covers the costs and shares in the efforts to care for them.

Hand in hand with planting trees comes dendrological research, which has been conducted annually over a period of two to three months during the summer and autumn since 2010. The survey creates an inventory of all tree species, totalling over 1,200 trees and more than 460 shrub groups that can be found in an area of 24,000 m². The research involves monitoring and recording a number of parameters, including the genus and the species, the circumference of the trunk at 1.3 meters from the base of the tree, its height, physiological age and others.

Krakonoš Gardens – a new initiative
The Škoda Auto Endowment Fund has launched the Krakonoš Gardens funding initiative this year with the support of the Škoda Auto Brand Management department and Volkswagen Financial Services. The specialist body responsible for the programme is the Krkonoše National Park. The initiative is dedicated to protecting nature and promoting biodiversity – for example, in terms of species in a particular environment and ecosystems in a particular location. Towns, local governments, and other organisations are eligible to receive grants of up to 250,000 Czech crowns to fund their projects.

Shelter for endangered peregrine falcons
After two years, a pair of endangered peregrine falcons have returned to the chimney of the Ško-Energo thermal power plant in Mladá Boleslav in early March. The falcon box was installed by Ško-Energo at a height of 168 metres – the eyases can be observed via online camera. The falcons have raised 21 chicks in the brooder to date.

Škoda employees actively support sustainability initiatives
The car manufacturer’s employees make a vital contribution to preserving biodiversity and protecting the environment. Under the ‘Škoda Trees’ programme, the workforce played a crucial role in reforesting the tornado-hit community of Hrušky in southern Moravia last year. In addition, around 300 employees and their families take part in the ‘Clean Up Czechia’ campaign every year around Škoda Auto’s three Czech sites.

Commitment to biodiversity around the Indian plants
As a signatory to the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI), Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. (SAVWIPL) is committed to protecting biodiversity on the Indian subcontinent through a variety of projects. For example, the carmaker’s 500-hectare site in Pune, India, provides a habitat for more than 340 plant, tree and animal species, while a special butterfly and bee garden provides food and shelter for the insects. At the Aurangabad plant, an ‘Oxygen Park’ and ‘Green Hub’ consisting of 36,500 trees not only produce oxygen and bind carbon dioxide but also offer nesting sites for native bird species and promote biodiversity. In a second stage, 50,000 more trees will be planted. Solar modules at an Indian production plant are contributing to renewable energy supplies. In Pune, SAVWIPL India inaugurated one of the country’s largest solar-power rooftop facilities in the automotive industry (26.6 million kWh annually).

In the Alibag district of Maharashtra, Škoda Auto is supporting the reforestation of 100 hectares of degraded forest land with over 500,000 mangrove trees. These will play a role in blue carbon sequestration as well as boosting the livelihoods of local communities. In addition, water conservation projects are helping to collect several million litres of rainwater in drought-prone regions. This supports biodiversity as well as groundwater recharge, benefiting local people, agriculture and livestock.

Next Level – Škoda Strategy 2030
Škoda Auto is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its business activities. The carmaker has developed a ‘GreenFuture’ strategy that encompasses its goals for climate protection and sustainability across the entire value chain. This focuses on three core areas: ‘GreenFactory’, ‘GreenProduct’, and ‘GreenRetail’. Škoda Auto has set a target for its three Czech plants to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. Additionally, the company plans to decrease its European fleet emissions by over 50% compared to 2020.

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Related Press Releases Based on tags: 2023, Corporate Social Responsibility, ecology, GreenFactory, GreenFuture, Oeljeklaus, Strategy 2030