The Volkswagen Group has initiated the largest process of change in its history with the "TOGETHER – Strategy 2025" programme for the future. This creates the foundation for becoming one of the world's leading providers of sustainable mobility. 

The Volkswagen 2016 Sustainability Report intensively examines the changes and progress made by the Group in sustainability management. It highlights not only positive effects – new jobs, increase of opportunities for participation and fostering regional structures and prosperity – but looks equally at detrimental effects as well, caused in particular through emissions and resource consumption. Key developments in recent months arising from working through the diesel crisis are also summarised in a separate section of the Sustainability Report. 

Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group: "Developments in the automotive industry over the next ten years will be more profound than any in the last 100. It is therefore all the more important to have a firm framework of values. We feel in this process a commitment to the aspiration to sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship. Low-emission drive system technologies, smart mobility services and innovative and secure solutions for autonomous driving are the essential forward-looking issues that we are working on here – and they are also important themes of the Group's Sustainability Report."

Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group and the General Works Council, added: "For us as a Works Council, equal opportunities, education, strengthening of solidary values and supporting disadvantaged people are of tremendous importance in all of life's circumstances. The many thousands of colleagues who involve themselves voluntarily in the various social projects to benefit society and the environment worldwide make an indispensable contribution to strengthening society." 

Some selected information and key figures: 

Group Sustainability Advisory Board 

The Group Sustainability Advisory Board, which was appointed last autumn, has begun work and is currently developing its first few projects. Nine high-profile representatives from politics, research and NGOs advise Volkswagen on topics such as sustainable mobility, environmental protection and the future of work. 

Strengthening integrity management 

Last year, Volkswagen significantly expanded its commitment to ethical and moral behaviour. This includes the newly created 'Law and Integrity' division at Management Board level. The first milestones were set in 2016 with an extensive communication campaign, with a so called sounding-board programme set up with over 140 integrity ambassadors at the Wolfsburg site and with the anchoring of such integrity in employee selection and development processes. 

Worldwide corporate citizenship projects 

In future, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will form an authoritative framework for social commitment within the Volkswagen Group. 

The Volkswagen Group is already making a contribution to the promotion of social mobility in terms of education, diversity and health as part of some 230 worldwide projects today, while at the same time committing itself to greater road safety, regional economic development, sport and culture. The different local conditions and challenges lead to countless different project formats.


The Volkswagen Group has defined three key target areas for its environmental management with the continuous reduction of its carbon footprint, pollutant emissions and resource consumption. 

The Group currently offers 450 model versions in Germany with an output of 120 g CO2/km, and 36 model versions within the Group are already under 95 g CO2/km. 

In production, the Volkswagen Group has set itself the goal of reducing the figures of the five main environmental performance indicators – energy and water consumption, waste for disposal, as well as CO2 and VOC emissions per vehicle produced – targeting a reduction of 25% from their 2010 level by 2018. By the end of 2016, the Group had already reached and exceeded this figure, achieving 25.3%. 

End-of-life vehicles are 85% recycled and 95% reclaimed 

Recycling makes a significant contribution to reducing the impact of the Volkswagen Group's products on the environment and to conserving resources. This goes beyond simply recycling vehicles at the end of their life-cycle. Attention is already paid during the development of new vehicles to the recyclability of the required materials, to the use of high-quality recycled material and to avoiding pollutants. 

Skills training 

The Volkswagen Group ensures that its workforce is able to adapt to the rapidly changing challenges of the working world with a wide range of training and skills programmes. For example, time invested in skills training for the 626,000 Group employees rose to an average of 21.5 hours per employee in 2016 (previous year: 17.6 hours). 

3,412 participants trained in saving fuel 

Volkswagen offers training on saving fuel in order to effectively reduce fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions. In the past year, alone Volkswagen brand trained 3,412 participants on eco-driving courses through the Volkswagen Driving Experience. 

The report, which is certified by independent auditors, is based on the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, the report is a progress report to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). 

Volkswagen presented its previous Group Sustainability Report only six months ago. Due to the diesel crisis, the 2015 Sustainability Report was not submitted until November last year. The Group is returning with the current Sustainability Report for the full year 2016 to publication as part of the Annual General Meeting. 

Full report 

As in the previous year, the Volkswagen Group Sustainability Report is appearing exclusively online. The complete 2016 Sustainability Report can be found at:  https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/sustainability/reporting.html