Sustainability Report 2016

With the Sustainability Report 2016, Volkswagen has departed from the established, well-functioning approach of presenting reports as completed documents in PDF format. Instead, the visitor to the website is confronted with a confusing collection of html-based content. What VW reveals there is hard to overlook, and above all, not reliable to search.

Simple questions, such as the date of publication are initially difficult to clarify. Only by accident finally I did find a well-hidden download option that provided access to a PDF document at Date of publication: 10 May 2017. The link is dead now. Backup: vw-sr2016-en.pdf.

This report indicates that there exists both production related and product related environmental targets. The report is very specific on production related environmental targets: „In production, by 2018 we aim to reduce the five key environmental indicators – energy and water consumption, waste for disposal, and CO2 and VOC emissions – by 25% per manufactured vehicle compared with the 2010 baseline.“ (page 75)

Also on page 75 there is a product-related environmental goal mentioned: „Our Group targets state that all newly developed vehicles should improve on the environmental performance of predecessor models in every respect over the vehicle’s entire life cycle.“ And Page 74 tells „THE VOLKSWAGEN GROUP’S FUTURE PROGRAM, TOGETHER – STRATEGY 2025, REVEALS HOW VOLKSWAGEN PLANS TO EXCEL. :[…] we have defined the following targets:

  • To continuously reduce our carbon footprint
  • To continuously reduce our pollutant emissions
  • To continuously reduce our resource consumption“

That leaves many questions unanswered. For example, shall the vehicles be developed to support fuel-efficient driving?

And of course: Do the achieved results match the targets?

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