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Corporate Responsibility at Volkswagen Financial Services AG

Foto: VW Caddy
Caddy delivery van M1 KR/LR 1.4-2.0l TDI/TSI/TGI SCR/BM/BMT/4MOTION – fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban 7.3-4.9 / extra-urban 5.2 / combined 6.0-4.1; CO2 emissions in g/km: 146-109 (combined); CO2 efficiency class: C-A+

As a global financial services provider and member of the Volkswagen Group, we firmly believe that our business model can only be successful if we act in a sustainable, responsible manner – now and in the future. In reporting year 2016, we continued to pursue a range of activities and topics based on our understanding of corporate responsibility (CR). In light of the emissions issue, we have reviewed our CR activities in 2016 and made any adjustments that were necessary. In particular, we will communicate intensively with our partners on this, in order to determine whether and on what conditions collaboration will be possible in the future.

2016 Highlights

My Finance Coach

Volkswagen Financial Services AG provided funding for the My Finance Coach social enterprise through to the summer of 2016. This initiative aimed to encourage children and young people to take a closer interest in economic affairs, and to teach them life skills for dealing with money. Some 280 of Volkswagen Financial Services AG’s employees volunteered and were trained as Finance Coaches. They were deployed in pairs to secondary schools, where they worked with teaching staff to explain complicated monetary and financial concepts to the students. Using a range of school-friendly classroom materials, the volunteers showed the young people how to manage their own personal finances responsibly.

In addition, Volkswagen Financial Services AG was involved as a jury member in a nationwide competition for youngsters learning about financial affairs. The competition is a core component of the My Finance Coach course materials, and pupils attending a wide variety of schools across the country take part in the competition throughout the academic year.

For more than ten years, Volkswagen Financial Services AG has been supporting free mobility for children, young people and the elderly with its “Bus Project”. This project, organized in cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, enables participants to experience modern works of art exhibited at the art museum over a 16-week period each year. More than 60,000 school students and some 7,500 senior citizens have visited these exhibitions since the project first started in 2002.

Social and Regional Responsibility

Volkswagen Financial Services AG founded its charitable foundation for disadvantaged children in Braunschweig in December 2008. “Stiftung – Unsere Kinder in Braunschweig” provides nine establishments – including daycare centers, primary schools and high schools – with customized educational support, including healthy eating, physical education and early musical training. Several other institutions such as sports and youth clubs are also supported on an ad-hoc basis. In 2016, the foundation continued to fund the “Gewaltfrei Lernen” (non-violent learning), “Klasse 2000” (class of 2000) and “Vorbereiten auf das Berufsleben” (preparing for working life) projects. Two new schemes for 2016 included a project that uses theater as a tool for teaching language skills, and another that gives primary schoolchildren the opportunity to experience a day out in nature.

Volkswagen Financial Services AG also carries out regular fundraising campaigns for charities. Its employee donation program, “Belegschaftsspende Mai”, supported a regional charity. Money from the “Restcentspende” (spare cents) initiative was donated to the terre des hommes “One hour for the future” campaign. For the third year running, the workforce held a very successful collection to donate articles to the “Fairkauf” charity department store.

Among the company’s various voluntary activities, the Works Council’s Christmas Tree Wishlist initiative, carried out in cooperation with a range of charities, has become a firm favorite. In 2016, employees answered the Christmas wishes of 547 socially disadvantaged children.
As in the previous year, we continued to make donations to refugee charities. A dedicated website at www.fsag-hilft.de acts as a permanent portal for employees seeking volunteer opportunities. The money raised by employee donations in 2015, which was doubled to €68,490 by the company, is being used to fund refugee aid projects managed by Refugium, a refugee relief organization in Braunschweig.

Partnership between Volkswagen Financial Services and German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)

The aim of the joint venture between Volkswagen Financial Services and German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union is to help NABU with wetland conservation projects.

Over the past few years, the two partners have received numerous awards for their commitment. For example, in addition to the project being named an official project of the UN Decade on Biodiversity in 2014 and 2016, they also received the EcoGlobe in 2010, as well as an award in Germany’s “Ausgewählter Ort im Land der Ideen” contest in 2012. This provides further evidence that under Volkswagen’s environmental program, ecological and economic benefits go hand in hand. Volkswagen Financial Services and NABU have extended their joint involvement in wetland conservation at international level, too. NABU and Volkswagen Financial Services launched the International Peatland Conservation Fund to provide finance for international nature conservation and climate protection activities in, for example, the Slowinski National Park in Poland. By 2019, we plan to contribute €1 million in funding to this initiative. The fund complements the German Peatland Conservation Fund, founded in 2012, to which we have already contributed €2 million.