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Inaugural meeting of Volkswagen Sustainability Council; Group makes €20M available for projects

Recently appointed by The Volkswagen Group’s Sustainability Council, recently appointed and comprising nine members from several nations—including Margo Oge, former director of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Transportation Air Quality—set the agenda for its work at its inaugural meeting on Monday. The Council elected Georg Kell, Founding Director UN Global Compact, as its chair. The first areas of focus in 2017 for the body will be the challenges of global CO2 emissions and the corresponding regulations post-2025, plus the company’s transformation process.

The Volkswagen Group is proactively making €20 million (US$21.75 million) available for the first two years for the proposal and funding of projects.

The Volkswagen Sustainability Council will be equipped with far-reaching information and consultation rights, as well as rights to operate on its own initiative. It will advise the Management Board on matters of business ethics and integrity, as well as on central issues facing the automotive industry in the future, such as the transformation from car manufacturer to mobility services provider, on the radical technological change from internal combustion engine to electric mobility and on the question of finding a balance between profitability, good jobs and environmental protection.

—Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group

In today’s inaugural meeting we have already experienced a very intense and open discussion. We are fully aware of the large transformation that lays ahead Volkswagen Group. We were invited to be part of this journey and are very much looking forward on being actively involved in the development of this journey.

—Georg Kell, Chair of the Sustainability Council

The members of the Group’s Sustainability Council are:

  • Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer – Deputy Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change.

  • Connie Hedegaard – former EU Commissioner for Climate Action.

  • Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost – Professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin.

  • Georg Kell – Founding Director UN Global Compact.

  • Yves Leterme – former OECD Deputy Secretary-General and former Prime Minister of Belgium.

  • Prof. Dr. Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff, former Judge at the Federal Constitutional Court

  • Margo T. Oge, former Director of Transportation Air Quality, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Oge led the EPA’s first national greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and heavy-duty trucks to double fuel efficiency by 2025 and reduce GHG emissions by 50%.

  • Michael Sommer, former President of the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB).

  • Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The Group’s Sustainability Council will in future not only convene with Members of the Board of Management but will also intensively interact with the General Works Council as well as with different departments within the Group and its brands in workshops, meetings and discussions.

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