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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 2015, 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 will review our CR activities in 2016 and make any adjustments that may be 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.

2015 Highlights

My Finance Coach and the “Bus Project”

Along with other partners, Volkswagen Financial Services AG has been supporting My Finance Coach Stiftung GmbH since May 2013. This initiative aims to encourage children and young people to take a closer interest in economic and financial matters and provide them with basic practical skills for dealing with money. Since the joint venture began, around 280 employees of Volkswagen Financial Services AG have undergone voluntary Finance Coach training. In teams of two, they visit school classes at lower secondary level on an unpaid basis and with the help of suitably stimulating materials, partner with the teachers to discuss complex subjects and explain to pupils how to handle their own personal finances responsibly. Since 2015, Volkswagen Financial Services AG has also had a seat on the jury of “Bundeswettbewerb Finanzen”, a nationwide finance competition which is a key component of the My Finance Coach program. Young people from many different types of school participate in the competition over the course of an entire school year.

Another initiative is the “Bus Project”, which has been running for over 10 years. As part of this project, Volkswagen Financial Services AG provides children, young people and senior citizens with free transport to art museums over a 16-week period each year, giving them the opportunity to see modern works of art at first hand. Since the project was launched in 2002, over 58,000 school students and around 7,000 senior citizens have visited such exhibitions.

Social and Regional Responsibility

Volkswagen Financial Services AG has sponsored selected charitable projects in the region for many years. During the reporting year, our employees took part for the eighth time in the “Brücken bauen” (building bridges) campaign in the Braunschweig region, contributing to three social projects in support of refugees, homeless men and families. The company also made a financial donation to this campaign.

The non-profit foundation “Unsere Kinder in Braunschweig” (our children in Braunschweig) was set up by Volkswagen Financial Services AG in December 2008 to support socially disadvantaged children. The foundation has demonstrated its commitment to the local region by significantly expanding its activities in flashpoint areas in the vicinity of the Volkswagen Financial Services site. Volkswagen Financial Services supported the foundation with another, larger donation during the reporting period. At present, seven institutions – four daycare centers, two primary schools and one lower secondary school – receive as-needed sponsorship on a continuous basis, which helps support education, healthy eating, physical education and early musical training, while a number of other institutions such as sports and youth clubs are supported on an ad-hoc basis. The focus is on long-term foundation projects that have been up and running for many years, including the varied, healthy daily breakfast, the “nutrition driving license”, and secondary school lunches for students – three projects which raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating.

The foundation offers swimming classes during school holidays that aim to help children swim in and under water without fear; these classes are very popular and successful. In addition, the foundation makes significant financial contributions to existing early-childhood music education projects, for example by purchasing the necessary musical instruments and paying the required teachers. The “Gewaltfrei Lernen” (non-violent learning), “Klasse 2000” (class of 2000) and “Vorbereiten auf das Berufsleben” (preparing for working life) projects, in which students learn how to handle aggression, practice social behavior and build self-esteem, continued in 2015. Additions to the sponsorship program in 2015 included a circus workshop for daycare/kindergarten and primary-school children, and a language practice facility.

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

The aim of this joint venture is to support our fleet customers in making the switch to green vehicles while simultaneously helping NABU with wetland conservation projects. Over the last 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, 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 joint project provides further evidence that under Volkswagen’s environmental program, ecological and economic benefits go hand in hand. Following a groundbreaking ceremony in 2015, the wetland conservation work has now been extended to Bavaria for the first time. The Bavarian project will preserve valuable habitats for rare animal and plant species in the Königsdorfer Weidfilz wetland area, making an important contribution to climate protection.

Volkswagen Financial Services and NABU have also extended their joint involvement in wetland conservation at international level. In the Slowinski National Park in Poland, an extensive ecological restoration campaign was launched in summer 2015. To finance these international nature conservation and climate protection activities, NABU and Volkswagen Financial Services founded the International Peatland Conservation Fund, to which we will contribute €1 million in funding by 2019. This fund complements the German Peatland Conservation Fund, founded in 2012, to which we will contribute a total of €2 million by 2016.