“It’s literally about saving the world”
CEO Thomas Schäfer talks about the Project1Hour initiative launched by the Volkswagen Group to mark Earth Day on 22 April. In 2021, over 250,000 employees took part in around 20,000 team workshops – the biggest climate protection campaign ever in the Group.
Mr Schäfer, why is this project so important to you?
It is scientifically proven that the climate is changing, and this will greatly affect our planet in the coming years. Average global temperatures are rising; natural disasters, including floods, droughts and tornadoes are becoming more frequent. This is something we have all experienced in the past year alone. One thing is clear: it is not too late to take countermeasures and slow this change down. However, we can only achieve this if each one of us actively contributes. Project1Hour raises awareness of these issues and is therefore extremely important. It’s literally about saving the world.
What role does sustainability play at ŠKODA AUTO?
Sustainability is a key component of our NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030. And we walk our talk. Last year, we achieved great successes in all areas of the company. In production, for example, we managed to save 11,000 tons of CO2, and we reduced our water consumption by more than a third. We continue to advance electric mobility with our popular ENYAQ iV and ENYAQ COUPÉ iV models – which, by the way, also have nice sustainable options, such as seat covers made from recycled PET bottles. To help us make even more progress in sustainability in the future, we became the first Czech company to establish an external Sustainability Council. But decisions and results like these are not enough on their own – the next step is for each of us to find ways to make our everyday professional and private lives more sustainable.
The new ENYAQ COUPÉ iV enables zero-emission individual mobility and low running costs. The ŠKODA iV ecosystem and Powerpass make it possible to use 260,000 charging points across nearly all of Europe with just a single card.
What are your aspirations for this year’s Project1Hour?
Last year, 15,000 Škodians took part – we should be able to surpass this number significantly. The more people participate, the livelier the discussions and more productive the workshops: Last year saw carpools being formed, reusable coffee cups purchased and the food at many of our events switched to locally sourced produce – lots of great, tangible results! I am really excited about this year’s ideas.