As part of the Volkswagen Group’s #Project1Hour initiative, Škoda Auto called on its employees to consider their ecological footprint, encouraging them to commit to sustainability and climate protection. In the last 12 days, all employees of the Group and its retail partners, totalling over one million people, took part in unique climate workshops. Škoda Auto has anchored ambitious environmental and sustainability targets in its corporate strategy and consistently monitors their implementation.
More than one million people took part in #Project1Hour this year
Each year on Earth Day – 22 April – the #Project1Hour initiative calls on the Volkswagen Group’s more than 675,000 employees to reflect on their personal contribution to sustainability and climate protection. This year, a further 500,000 retail employees also joined in, meaning that over one million people were involved in the event.
From 10 to 22 April, employees were invited spend an hour reflecting on how they could personally contribute to climate protection. The initiative is bearing fruit: Since #Project1Hour started in 2021, with the aim of inspiring change and raising awareness of more sustainable lifestyles, the project has seen impactful projects launched and ideas developed for how they can improve their own and the company’s ecological footprint.
For the first time this year, employees had the possibility to engage with the topic playfully through game in style of the well-know “uncovering pairs” principle. In addition, #Project1Hour content and materials were made publicly accessible in local languages. This meant that people outside the Volkswagen Group as well as employees’ friends and families were also able to join in.
#Project1Hour has become a fixed date in Škoda Auto’s calendar; this is now the third time the Czech car manufacturer’s workforce has been involved. In 2021, the project focused on raising awareness about climate change and sustainability. In 2022, the project was about collecting ideas that would help combat climate change, and this year, the project focuses on actions that employees can take.
Employees from subsidiaries, including Škoda Auto Slovakia, Škoda Auto Germany, Ško-Energo and India with SAVWIPL India, also played their part.
Ambitious targets for climate protection and sustainability
As part of its Next Level – Škoda Strategy 2030, Škoda Auto has defined clear and ambitious targets for climate protection and sustainability. The specific actions taken by the Czech car manufacturer to consistently reduce the ecological footprint of its business activities cover the entire value chain.
For instance, the brand Škoda is increasingly implementing natural, recycled and recyclable materials in its models. This is the case in seat covers made from new wool and recycled PET bottles in the all-electric Enyaq iV SUV. Moreover, Škoda Auto utilises used batteries from electric vehicles in stationary energy storage systems before the batteries are ultimately recycled. The company is thus reducing the carbon footprint of the batteries thanks to this second-life concept.
By 2030, Škoda Auto is aiming to have achieved net-zero carbon emissions in production at its three Czech plants. The company is also planning to reduce its European fleet emissions by over 50% compared to 2020.
The share of renewable energies at Škoda Auto’s Czech sites last year totalled around 35%. And this figure is set to rise further: The company is investing significantly in expansion and is planning one of the largest roof-mounted photovoltaic systems in the Czech Republic in collaboration with ČEZ ESCO and Ško-Energo. Solar modules are being installed in the Mladá Boleslav plant, which will supply more than 2,200 megawatt hours (MWh) of sustainably produced energy annually. These will complement the almost 6,000 solar modules on the three roofs – the Škoda Parts Centre and two logistics buildings.
Solar modules also contribute to supply of renewable energy at the plant in Pune in India (SAVWIPL India). With a total annual energy production of 26,600 MWh, it is one of the largest solar power plants in the country’s automotive industry.
Climate protection enshrined in corporate culture
Škoda employees’ personal commitment to climate protection has been an important part of the corporate culture for many years. With their families, they regularly take part in the ‘Clean Up Czechia’ campaign, which the car manufacturer has supported since 2015. In addition, Škoda Auto has long supported ‘REkrabičky’, an initiative for using reusable packaging in catering. Thanks to this, the company avoids 14 tonnes of waste a year in its employee canteens.
The company is also committed to reforestation and biodiversity. An example of this is the ‘One car, one tree’. For every vehicle delivered to a customer in the Czech Republic, the company plants one sapling. Since 2007, 1,244,080 trees have been planted, corresponding to more than 259 hectares of new forest in almost 200 locations. Škoda Auto dealers and customers can also get involved in the initiative and plant their own trees.
The carsharing platform HoppyGo from the Škoda Auto DigiLab Innovation Centre is also strengthening its contribution to environmental protection. To mark Earth Day, it is introducing a new feature for its Czech users. The additional service ‘Greener travelling’ offers car renters the option to offset their carbon footprint for 25 CZK/day. The money collected will be used to buy trees that will be planted across the country via the Sázíme Česko platform.
Source: Škoda Auto