ŠKODA AUTO is committed to environmental protection and combines its ambitious sustainability goals in the three core areas of Green Factory, Green Product and Green Retail under the umbrella of the Green Future strategy. To mark the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity, the company is presenting selected initiatives that promote biodiversity in its manufacturing regions around the world.
In the Czech Republic, the car manufacturer has been planting a sapling for every vehicle delivered in the country since 2007 as part of its ‘One Car, One Tree’ project. By the end of October 2021, the company had planted one million trees, and around 79,900 new trees will be planted in 2022.
The immediate surroundings of ŠKODA AUTO’s three Czech production sites provide habitats for numerous plants and various species of insects and animals: Around 356,000 flowering plants, 1,128 trees and some 470 shrubs grow over an area of around 23,000 m². This year, the company plans to build dozens of birdhouses, along with three insect shelters and two bumblebee nests around its headquarters in Mladá Boleslav and Vrchlabí while at the same time taking care of the heritage trees in its surroundings.
However, the greatest strength in promoting biodiversity is through the commitment of every ŠKODA AUTO employee. In a move to rejuvenate its parks, ŠKODA AUTO created a biodiversity garden between the administration building and the company’s headquarters this month with the help of volunteers from among its employees. Every year, employees and their family members also take part in the Let’s Clean Up the Czech Republic event.
The ŠKODA AUTO Foundation established by the carmaker also supports nature-friendly amenities in the wider area. In Kosmonosy near Mladá Boleslav, it spearheaded the transformation of a disused swimming pool into a natural habitat, supporting the project with CZK 6.5 million. This follows another initiative to create an orchard of ancient fruit cultivars and a forest nature trail. The chestnut avenue leading to ŠKODA’s Kvasiny plant has also been revitalised under a similar project to redevelop the historic chateau park. As part of the long-term cooperation with Krkonoše National Park (KRNAP), the revitalisation of the monastery garden in Vrchlabí is also being supported. This will serve as a genebank for local plant species.
Biodiversity at production sites in India
The 500-hectare ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) plant site in Pune provides a habitat for more than 300 species of plants, trees and animals. The company also supports a development project near the plant in the state of Maharashtra: in the Taluka Shirur area, the International Association for Human Values planted 10,000 fruit trees last year, which will serve as a source of income for local farmers in a few years’ time.
Another project to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainability is SAVWIPL’s own eco-park near the plant in Chakan, Maharashtra with a wide variety of plants and animals. The carmaker is also expanding its oxygen park at its plant in Shendre, Aurangabad. Since its inception in 2019, a total of 25,000 trees have been planted there, which will be a good source of oxygen and holds the potential to sequester substantial amount of CO2. The oxygen park has 49 varieties of saplings that include 22,500 avenue and border plants and 2 500 fragrant plants.
SAVWIPL is also supporting a project of the Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (MMBCF) in India. It aims to conserve water and soil and to use traditional, sustainable cultivation methods in agricultural practices. More than 580,000 mangrove trees are to be planted there by 2027 to protect marine life and prevent coastal erosion.