Biological diversity and functioning ecosystems are at the heart of life itself and of economic activity. Despite this knowledge, however, we are facing a dramatic loss in species, ecosystems and genetic diversity. This makes preserving biodiversity one of the most urgent tasks we are currently facing. Businesses are also called on to take responsibility in this area. At Volkswagen, protecting biodiversity has been a corporate goal since 2007. Although industrial enterprises contribute to this through classic nature and species conservation projects, their key contribution is by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring effective environmental management at their production locations. Volkswagen aims to play a pioneering role in protecting biodiversity, which is why we drove forward integration of this topic with our processes in the period under review. In addition, we participated in the following projects, among others:

  • Support for scientific research into biodiversity through Volkswagen’s “Por amor al planeta” program in Mexico
  • Protection of dolphins and penguins in South Africa as a sponsor partner of the Wilderness Foundation’s Rhino Protection Initiative
  • Support for an EU-sponsored species inventory in the Czech Republic’s national parks
  • Support for a range of conservation and environmental protection projects, including Europe’s largest river restoration program, on the Lower Havel river, a project to create habitat corridors in the Allertal valley and estab- lishing green corridors for wild cats together with the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND), Germany’s League for the Environment and Nature Conservation
  • Financial and organizational support for extensive moor restoration projects in northern Germany
  • Preparation of a feasibility study on the restoration of moors in the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia
  • Continuation of Volkswagen Group China’s Green Future Environmental Education Initiative together with Chinese partners, for the first time with the support of the Naturschutzjugend (NAJU), the youth wing of Germany’s Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)

Systematic ongoing stakeholder dialog is vital to species conservation, which is why Volkswagen has actively sought to exchange information and opinions with associations and institutions. For example, the Group sponsored the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India, in October 2012. In addition, Volkswagen was active in the international “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative and in the Biodiversity & Ecosystems Services Project Group run by econsense, the German sustainability forum. Volkswagen receives ongoing advice from NABU as part of a long-term strategic stakeholder dialog.

We expanded our reporting and communication on biodiversity protection activities in 2012. Among other things, we designed the website as an interactive platform for our cooperation with NABU.

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