The largest European manufacturer is Volkswagen with some 15 per cent of the market. The company has been on an aggressive acquisition trail for a decade and now produces and sells more cars than any other European company. It is certainly interested in the future of the Bavarian carmaker BMW.
Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, BMW and others are all engaged upon strategies to improve their value chain and reduce supplier numbers.
o Focus on less direct benefits
o Spent $30 million on environmental protection in one year
o Increased competitive advantage by positioning the company as a leader in ecologically conscious car manufacturing
o Enhanced image of its high prestige and high value products
Sustainable Development Targets of Volkswagen
Volkswagen has the ability to make its future development sustainable – to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Group Environmental Policy
Volkswagen develops, manufactures and markets motor vehicles worldwide with the aim of safeguarding personal mobility. The company accepts responsibility for the continuous improvement of the environmental compatability of its products and for the increasingly conservative use of natural resources, with due regard to economic aspects. Accordingly, the company makes environmentally efficient, advanced technology available world-wide and brings this technology to bear over with the full life cycle of its products. At all its corporate locations, Volkswagen works hand-in-hand with society and policy-makers to shape a development process that will bring sustainable social and ecological benefits.
7 Basic Principles of the Environmental Policy
o Restrict the environmental impact of Volkswagens activities to a minimum.
o Combine customers expectations with regards to environmental compatibility.
o Research and develop ecologically efficient products and processes.
o Ensure a continuous improvement process together with suppliers, service providers, retailers and recycling companies.
o Check the performance of the environmental management system regularly.
o Give information to customers, policy-makers and authorities.
o Inform, train and motivate Volkswagen employees in environmental protection.
Results of the Environmental Performance: Product
VW Lupo 3L TDI: The 3-Litre-Car.
o Consuming less than 3 litres of fuel per hundred kilometres.
o Only 81 g/km CO2 Emissions.
o Ultra light weight of only 830 kilograms.
o Financial Times Automotive Award for the:Best Breakthrough Produkt” in 1999
Environmental Protection at Volkswagen : Product
o Fuel efficient cars.
o Alternative fuels.
o Alternative power trains.
o Engineering recyclable cars.
o Intelligent transport systems
Environmental Protection at Volkswagen: Production
Certified Environmental Management System (EMAS, ISO 14001)
o Water management.
o Minimizing air pollution.
o Noise abatement.
o Waste management.
o Efficient energy consumption.
In China: VW Shanghai certified since 1997 (ISO 14001).
Volkswagen Employees: of Environmental Success Examples for environmental measures:
o Agreement between the management board and the works council on: internal environmental reporting, the rights and duties of the employees in supporting environmental protection measures.
o Special training for managers, supervisors and environmental specialists.
o Integration of environmental education into general employee development schemes.
o Environmental education for apprentices.
Suppliers – Working together as Partners
What does Volkswagen expect from the suppliers?
o A clear commitment to environment protection as a part of their
o corporate philosophy.
o Continuous improvement process of the environmental aspects of the product and manufacturing processes.
o Identify and document the chemical composition of materials supplied.
o Ideas for recycling and disposal of the supplied products.
o Close cooperation to find ways to achieve joint environmental goals.
The VW Declaration deals with the freedom of association, collective bargaining, prohibition of child work and forced labour and non-discrimination, as well as remuneration, health and safety and working time. Company management will report to the GWC and its Steering Committee, and in cases of reported violations, one of the two will become active and discuss ways to solve the problems. The IMF’s coordinator for the VW Global Works’ Council is involved in this discussion and will bring in the position of the IMF and its affiliated unions.
Robert Steiert, of the IMF head office, stated that the Declaration “will not have its largest impact at existing Volkswagen workplaces, where the provisions should already be at hand, but is most important for workers at plants to be built or taken over by Volkswagen, especially in lesser-developed countries.”