Earth Day: Audi sends signal for environmental protection

The Volkswagen Climate Day succeeded in raising environmental awareness among employees. Around 85,000 Audi employees across the globe participated in workshops and activities such as “plogging” to address one of the most important – or perhaps the most important – issue of our time.

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“Everyone can do their part to conserve resources, protect the environment, and combat climate change.”

Jutta Schoberer, quality management enabler at EV-7 Prototyping/Innovation Center for Technical Development at Audi’s Ingolstadt site.

Schoberer discussed what such action might look like with her colleagues during the #Project1Hour workshop. The workshops took center stage on Volkswagen Climate Day, a group-wide day of environmental activities first held in honor of this year’s Earth Day on April 22.

 

“The focus is on how each and every one of us can live in a more sustainable, climate-friendly way. In this process, everyone should find their own personal path to reducing their carbon footprint,” said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, summing up the idea behind the day of action. “Innovation is the best way to combat climate change – by challenging ourselves to rethink what we know and question the status quo on a daily basis.”

Around 85,000 Audi employees participated in #Project1Hour. That translates into nearly 10 years of discussions and conversations on the issue of environmental protection.
Around 85,000 Audi employees participated in #Project1Hour. That translates into nearly 10 years of discussions and conversations on the issue of environmental protection.

Collecting ideas on how to protect the environment

This is why all Audi employees were given the opportunity to sit down with their teams for an hour during the #Project1Hour workshop to share and develop ideas on what everyone can do to combat climate change. “This includes trying out plant-based recipes, making sure you correctly separate your waste, using Ecosia as a search platform, or using reusable shopping bags,” Schoberer said, recounting some of the ideas her team came up with. She herself has been a vegetarian since she was eight years old and, among other campaigns, launched the #NoKippenFlippen campaign in Ingolstadt to draw attention to the pollution caused by people flicking their cigarette butts onto the street instead of throwing them away properly.

 

During the workshop, Pascal Piszczek and his coworkers from the Fuel Cell Production Technology department in Ingolstadt addressed the question of what they as a team can do to protect the environment. “One idea we came up with was to allow people to continue working from home even after the pandemic has ended to reduce the number of commuters on the road and the associated carbon emissions,” reported Piszczek. He has also decided to ride his bike to work more often on the days he needs to come in person. In addition, his team would like to introduce one day a week when everyone gives up meat together. “This personal touch – everyone reflects on their own behavior and learns something about how to combat climate change in the process – was particularly well received by our coworkers,” Piszczek said, summing up. 

 

Thousands of Audi employees also took part in #Project1Hour at the company’s site in Mexico. The employees there tested their knowledge in a climate quiz, analyzed their own carbon footprint, and then developed specific ideas on how and where they can help reduce climate-damaging carbon emissions at work and in their private lives. “#Project1Hour offers all our employees the opportunity to work together to mitigate climate change and make a positive impact on our planet,” said Niels Bosse, Head of Human Resources and Organization at Audi México.

The Volkswagen Climate Day, a group-wide day of action dedicated to environmental protection, was held on Earth Day this year. /Alternative: Protecting the environment together: #Project1Hour
The Volkswagen Climate Day, a group-wide day of action dedicated to environmental protection, was held on Earth Day this year. /Alternative: Protecting the environment together: #Project1Hour

Employees across the globe take action – from plogging to insect hotels and more

In addition to the workshops, various hands-on environmental activities were held at Audi locations around the world. For example, the Audi Foundation for the Environment organized a “plogging” campaign at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites in Germany, where employees went jogging to collect trash and then disposed of it correctly. The equipment needed for plogging – gloves and trash bags – was provided in advance.

 

One of the participants was Markus Schlaeger, responsible for Regional Collaboration and Site Sponsorships in Neckarsulm. “I regularly go jogging in the woods. And when I do, I’m always struck by how much trash there is on the ground that obviously doesn’t belong there. That’s why I instantly agreed to participate when I heard about the plogging campaign,”, Schlaeger said. So it should also come as no surprise that his plogging tour led him through the forest. 

As part of the Volkswagen Climate Day event in honor of Earth Day, plogging – a combination of jogging and picking up litter – was one of the activities on the agenda.
As part of the Volkswagen Climate Day event in honor of Earth Day, plogging – a combination of jogging and picking up litter – was one of the activities on the agenda.

“An insect hotel is a man-made refuge and breeding place for insects, and its goal is to create the ideal conditions for our gardens’ most important inhabitants.”

Environmental manager Zsuzsanna Csanaki

At the Hungarian site in Győr, the day of action focused on protecting insects. The “Insect Hotel Competition” kicked off just in time for Earth Day to ring in the “Year of the Insect.”

 

Participants have until International Biodiversity Day on May 22 to build their own insect hotels and submit photos of their structures. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the loss of global biodiversity.

 

In addition, in honor of Earth Day and to promote biodiversity, the team at Audi Brussels planted a green area on the factory premises that only contains plants native to the region.

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