Volkswagen Group sets more ambitious targets against global warming

Volkswagen Group sets more ambitious targets against global warming

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) confirmed, after a scientific review, that Volkswagen Group’s new climate protection targets are aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP (former Carbon Disclosure Project), the UN Global Compact, WRI (World Resources Institute) and WWF. It is an independent initiative that works for climate protection in the private sector by helping companies to set science-based emission reduction targets.

This includes the Volkswagen Group, on which SBTi conducted a detailed and in-depth analysis and upgraded its emissions reduction targets for production. As a result of this analysis, it was confirmed that the Group's new, more ambitious targets - for scope 1 (internal operations) and scope 2 (energy supply) emissions - are in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees (the previous baseline was 'below 2 degrees').

Worldwide Earth Day

The news was released in recent weeks on the eve of Worldwide Earth Day, during which for the second time the Volkswagen Group invited its 670,000 employees worldwide to take part in Project1Hour. Under this initiative, one hour of the working day is dedicated to coming up with climate protection ideas to lower both their own personal carbon footprint and that of the Group's activities. Activities that, together with emission reduction targets, were first analysed by SBTi in September 2020. On that occasion, the planned measures were considered to be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement’s requirement to limit global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.


Reducing emissions

Less than two years after this initial analysis, the sustainability measures taken by the Volkswagen Group have gone beyond the targets originally set: it was estimated that total production-related CO2 emissions would be reduced by 30% in the period 2018-2030, but the Group has raised this target to 50%. Currently 96% of the energy supply of the sites in the EU comes from renewable sources and the intention is to reach 100% by next year. The same target is planned for all sites worldwide, excluding China, by 2030.

The Volkswagen Group also intends to reduce the life cycle emissions of each vehicle by 30 per cent, making production sites more sustainable, which will be even more decisive in achieving the company's overall climate targets.

Reducing the carbon footprint

In 2021, the Volkswagen Group made significant progress in reducing its carbon footprint, cutting CO2 emissions by 1.7 tonnes per newly produced vehicle by increasing the use of renewable energy, electrifying the range and supporting the expansion of wind and solar parks in Europe.

"Whether the earth warms by 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius by 2050 has a major impact on developments such as species extinction, drought and rising sea levels", said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, commenting on the results of the SBTi analysis.


Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group

Climate responsibility

The Volkswagen Group”, Diess continued, "is taking its responsibility to protect the world for future generations. That is why we are sharpening our own emission reduction targets in production after less than two years, and we are pleased that the SBTi recognises this".

The Volkswagen Group is also working hard to become more sustainable in other areas: decarbonisation of supply chains, recycling of materials and electrification of the range are some examples. "How successful we continue to be as a company in the fight against global warming is also up to each and every individual. That is why our Group-wide Project1Hour is especially close to my heart. Everyone can contribute, with good ideas, to further accelerate in climate protection” Diess concluded.

SourceVolkswagen Newsroom

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