Volkswagen announces commitment to biodiversity

Diversity is important for any ecosystem, whether it's biological, technical, or economic. The absence of diversity makes the systems susceptible to collapse due to single point attacks destroying them. Examples such as the Irish potato famine and Windows viruses demonstrate the dangers of having mono-cultures. In biological food chains, the loss of diversity can be particularly damaging as many species are dependent on others for survival.
Volkswagen has published a new mission statement stating their commitment of protecting biodiversity. The company has said it will protect all species in the vicinity of their facilities around the world and oppose the economic use of conservation areas and national parks. The company will also start factoring biodiversity into all of their environmental impact studies and management. The VW press release is after the jump.

Press Release:

Volkswagen publishes mission statement on biodiversity

Protection of the environment and the species has long been firmly established in the company

Wolfsburg, 21 April 2008 - Retaining biological diversity is one of the great ecological challenges of the 21st century. Without the commitment of industry, the United Nations would not be able to meet its target of stopping or at least slowing down the extinction of species. As a globally active industrial company, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft engages in protecting biodiversity.

The mission statement just published by Volkswagen AG therefore says that the company supports the protection of the species in equal measure at all its plants. Accordingly, nature conservation areas and national parks should not be put to economic use. When drafting the mission statement, the company was advised by its long-standing partner Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V.

Protecting biodiversity is also to be more strongly integrated in the company's environmental management. Impacts are to be quantified, responsibilities clearly defined, targets and measures set out in action plans and reporting procedures extended.

Volkswagen was one of the first companies to become a member of the "Business and Biodiversity Initiative" in February. In a letter to Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, announced the company was prepared to share the responsibility for ensuring that the global community does in fact meet the targets set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity. Volkswagen will therefore also be actively supporting the 9th UN conservation conference to be held in Bonn in May.

Environmental protection has been both an aim and good practice at Volkswagen for many years. At sites in Germany and all over the world, the company engages in a multitude of projects relating to biotopes, the environment and protection of the species, and supports research programs.

What applies for production holds equally true for products. Volkswagen is convinced that retaining biodiversity also depends on reducing greenhouse gases and is therefore involved in developing and marketing highly resource-efficient vehicles such as its BlueMotion models, researching into alternative powertrain technologies and in supporting projects for environmentally sound driving.

In fall 2007, Volkswagen gave its support to a major information campaign on biodiversity launched by the German government and also actively supports the government's "nature alliance" as well as functioning as a partner and primary sponsor of the tour of Germany under the banner "Unterwegs für Vielfalt" ("En route to diversity").

The full text of the mission statement can be downloaded from the Internet at: and

[Source: Volkswagen]

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