#Project1Hour: you can reduce your environmental footprint

#Project1Hour: you can reduce your environmental footprint

To mark Earth Day 2021, ŠKODA is signing up to Volkswagen Group’s #Project1Hour initiative. ŠKODA’s aim is to help draw attention to our individual responsibility for climate protection. Find out how five ŠKODA employees see it.

22. 4. 2021 Škoda World Responsibility

Volkswagen Group’s #Project1Hour initiative invites every one of the Group’s 660,000 employees around the world to make a personal contribution to the fight against climate change. For one hour on Earth Day everyone can stop and think about their own environmental impact and ways to minimise it.

ŠKODA is not standing on the sidelines, of course. “As an international automobile manufacturer we are well aware of our responsibility for climate and the environment. To mark Earth Day we will take part in Volkswagen’s #Project1Hour initiative, and we are setting an example for responsible and sustainable use of natural resources. We will seize this opportunity and show how together we can all contribute to reducing our environmental footprint,” says Thomas Schäfer, ŠKODA CEO. 

Thomas Schäfer

ŠKODA has already set out its sustainability goals in GreenFuture, a strategy based on three pillars: GreenProduct, GreenRetail and GreenFactory. In this way the Czech carmaker has been systematically reducing the environmental impacts of its business since 2012. It focuses on developing vehicles that are as environmentally friendly as possible, for example. Its new all-electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV SUV is a big step forwards in this regard. 

The Vrchlabí plant has been carbon neutral since the end of 2020.

But there are other issues here, such as fuel consumption, materials used in production and their recyclability. By 2025 ŠKODA’s CO2 emissions will be 30 per cent lower than in 2015. Manufacturing is also heading towards lower environmental impact – the Vrchlabí plant has been carbon neutral since the end of 2020, for example. What’s more, the Czech carmaker has committed itself to Volkswagen Group’s “goTOzero” model, which covers issues ranging from climate change and air quality to compliance with environmental regulations. 

How do five selected ŠKODA employees see the fight against climate change?

Milena Sluková Voděrová – purchasing department

“I think the first thing we should all look at is what we can do as individuals, which means recycling, saving electricity and other resources such as drinking water etc. and keeping the countryside free from litter. I sort most of my waste, including organic waste. I have my own garden where I grow fruit and vegetables. I save electricity and use rainwater wherever it can be substituted for drinking water. Of course I also try to avoid single-use products such as plastic bags and other items.”

Petra Kopecká – sustainability strategy and programmes specialist 

“I’m from the sustainability department, where we try to help our colleagues integrate sustainability into their processes. We’re here for everyone who wants to change something in the firm and is looking for allies for their ideas. ŠKODA tries to do a lot to protect the climate, but I think that one of the things that could help us be even better is to have more discussion and open conversations about this issue. We should communicate its importance, urgency and fundamental impact on our future. And how do I reduce my carbon footprint? I get a lot out of the concept of minimalism: I ask myself whether I really need this or that before I buy or consume something. If the answer is yes, I try to find out whether I can get it second-hand before I buy it new.”

Examples of sustainability measures at ŠKODA:

In November 2020, ŠKODA completed the installation of a new photovoltaic system at its Kosmonosy service centre close to its headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. Covering over 2,200 square metres, the panels generate more than 450 MWh of sustainably produced energy a year. 

The biggest photovoltaic roof system in the Czech Republic, with almost 6,000 solar modules, is being built on the roofs of the ŠKODA Parts Center and logistics building. The solar panels’ nominal power is 2,300 kilowatts (kW) and annual electricity generation exceeds 2,200 megawatt hours (MWh). 

At the production plant in Pune, one of the biggest solar roof systems in India helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint significantly: 25,770 photovoltaic modules cover approx. 15 per cent of the plant’s annual electricity needs, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 9,000 tonnes per year.

The roof of the ŠKODA AUTO plant in Pune with solar panels.

Lucie Úradníková – value engineering specialist

“Our team sorts waste and all of my colleagues who can, walk or cycle to work, while the others try to car-share.  Personally, I would like it if we as a firm did more to support green roofs, which cut CO2 and, above all, reduce the temperature in cities. I myself try to use reusable products such as canvas bags for fruit and vegetables and washable make-up removal pads, and I shop in a packaging-free shop.”

Lenka Bočková – head of environmental and labour protection 

“Clean air and drinking water should not be taken for granted. It’s something we should take care of. I work in the environmental protection department, so climate protection is my and my colleagues’ daily bread. We try to limit the amount of paper we use and business trips we take, and we prefer to drink tap water. At home we try to buy regional products. We also look at how products are packaged and prefer to buy unpackaged products. When we walk the dog we try to pick up litter, and we certainly don’t waste drinking water. These are things every family can do. You don’t have to be James Bond and save the whole world. Even small steps are helpful.”

Michal Pavlásek – purchasing department

I think it’s a good idea to stop for an hour and think about what we leave behind, what our carbon footprint is and what impact we have on the environment. In the purchasing department we recently started to apply an “S” rating for suppliers, which is a way to measure suppliers’ environmental footprint and impact. That should motivate them to improve their rating and motivate us to focus more on regional suppliers instead of importing products from the other side of the world. I personally always try to live as close to my work as possible. Today I commute 50 or 60 kilometres every day, but in the next six months I should move closer to work so that I can cycle in, which would reduce my carbon footprint.”