In the Czech Republic the lights were switched off for one hour at the headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, the service centre in Kosmonosy as well as the Kvasiny and Vrchlabí plants last Saturday. In India, the lights were switched off in the carmaker’s plant in Pune, while in Russia the lights went out in Kaluga. By participating in the global Earth Hour initiative, ŠKODA AUTO set an example for environmental protection and sustainable company development. The manufacturer intends to further improve its ecological footprint using various strategies and measures.
All the energy generated to power ŠKODA AUTO vehicle and component production plants in the Czech Republic will be CO2-neutral in the second half of the decade. The Vrchlabí plant has been ŠKODA AUTO’s first CO2-neutral production facility since late 2020. One of the reasons is that ŠKODA AUTO is rigorously capitalising on alternative energies. Moreover, natural gas is going to be gradually replaced by CO2-neutral methane from biogas plants as of 2021.
ŠKODA AUTO groups its environmental activities within its GreenFuture strategy. This is divided into three areas: GreenProduct focuses on the development of environmentally friendly drive systems and the use of recyclable materials in cars. Through the measures that fall under GreenRetail, ŠKODA AUTO is promoting eco-friendly operations at its dealerships and service facilities. GreenFactory comprises all of the activities that help to conserve resources during production. Key performance indicators such as energy and water consumption or the amount of waste produced per vehicle are accurately captured and optimised. The same applies to CO2 emissions and so-called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are produced when the car bodies are painted, for example.
In addition to GreenFuture, ŠKODA is also pursuing Volkswagen Group’s goTOzero strategy, which addresses climate change, resources, air quality as well as environmental compliance to define the company’s environmental mission statement. This reads in the Mission Statement Environment of the Volkswagen Group: “For all our products and mobility solutions we aspire to minimize environmental impacts along the entire lifecycle – from raw material extraction until end-of-life – in order to keep ecosystems intact and to create positive impacts on society. Compliance with environmental regulations, standards and voluntary commitments is a basic prerequisite of our actions.”
Multifaceted staff commitment to the environment
ŠKODA AUTO and its employees are involved in many projects dedicated to reforestation and biodiversity in forests. The ‘One Car, One Tree’ initiative, which began in 2007, is one example of this. As part of the scheme, numerous ŠKODA employees – including trainees, apprentices and students from the ŠKODA Vocational School – volunteer to plant a tree for each ŠKODA that is newly registered in the Czech Republic. Under this initiative ŠKODA plans to plant its 1 000 000th tree by the end of 2021.