Firs look back at the weeklong lecture series that showed employees the way to a sustainable future
KODA AUTO organised a Green Week event for its employees from Monday, 13 September, to Friday, 17 September, during which the company and its partners presented sustainability topics through lectures, discussions and talks. The carmaker hopes to raise awareness of current and future environmental and climate protection measures. The Green Week event is part of the Group’s “goTOzero weeks” initiative. Within this framework, the individual VW Group brands, as well as sales regions and departments, are organising various campaigns and activities throughout 2021 to raise awareness of sustainability issues.
Ecology from the perspective of ŠKODA AUTO
Each of the five days of the Green Week focused on one area. On Monday, the marathon series of lectures kicked off with the topics of Sustainability and Economy; on Tuesday, the transmissions focused on Decarbonisation and CO2 neutrality; Wednesday was devoted to the Circular Economy and Waste Utilisation; Thursday’s lectures tackled Environmental and Energy Efficiency; and on Friday, the discussion was about Water and Biodiversity.
On Monday morning, Green Week was opened by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Thomas Schäfer. In his lecture, he stressed that the natural disasters occurring this summer, such as the forest fires in Greece, Italy and France, the tornado in Moravia and the floods in Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries are phenomena that may occur more and more frequently in the coming years. These are the consequences of global climate change. However, according to Schäfer, there is still time to avert the most dramatic changes: “It’s not too late. However, we can only do this if we act decisively and are in agreement.” He also mentioned ŠKODA AUTO’s journey towards sustainability and CO2 neutrality with the NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY, as the carmaker wants to reduce the emissions of fleet cars it produces by 50 percent by 2030 compared with 2020 and produce cars within the CO2-neutral cycle at its plants in the Czech Republic and India. “Let’s take advantage of Green Week to understand how pressing the issue of sustainability is, ensure that all employees understand the specific targets that ŠKODA AUTO and VW Group have set for themselves and learn how we can all make our lives and daily work processes more climate-friendly”, Schäfer urged the employees. He also added that the carmaker will be able to cope with the necessary changes thanks to the strong team spirit, practical approach and ability to adapt to new conditions.
From a different angle
In addition to ideas from ŠKODA AUTO, Green Week also focused on topics presented by its partners including teachers at ŠAVŠ. In their lectures, they provided a broader perspective on the issues. For example, Rudolf Melezinek and Kristof Peerens from 3M showed how films from their range can reduce energy consumption. The company is also launching a new project to produce pallets made of a blend of polypropylene and polyamide, which is created by recycling waste from the production of injection moulded plastic parts. Šimon Fiala reiterated the importance of IKEA’s logistics, which is known for its flat and well-stackable packages. However, it is also important that IKEA designs products with possible re-use in mind by facilitating the moving and subsequent sale. In its stores, the company has also set up places called Circular Hubs, where it sells second-hand furniture and holds workshops on re-using its products. The Czech leader in food production, Kofola, bet on new returnable glass bottles called Cirkulka, and another surprisingly “circular” product was biscuits produced in cooperation with Biopekárna Zemanka. The biscuits are made from pressed fruit and vegetable leftovers. “This is further proof of how we are rethinking waste management”, says David Sommer of Kofola.
The circular economy is also a big topic in the construction industry, which is pursuing less use of primary materials. According to Karel Fronek of Skanska, the trend is, for example, to use concrete with a recycled content from construction and demolition waste. According to him, it is also possible to recycle up to 80 percent of asphalt extracted during road reconstruction. Particularly in its Scandinavian homeland, Skanska is a pioneer in the field of active houses – buildings that produce more energy than they use. ED
Each of the five days of Green Week focused on one area of sustainability.
Sustainability & economy
CEO Thomas Schäfer opened the event with a presentation on ŠKODA AUTO's approach to current sustainability challenges.
Decarbonisation & CO2 neutrality
Michael Oeljeklaus, Member of the Board for Production and Logistics, spoke about the carmaker's approach to the Green Production strategy.
Circular economy & Zero Waste
Karsten Schnake, Member of the Board for Purchasing, presented ŠKODA AUTO's experience with its approach to sustainability in the supply chain.
Environmental & energy efficiency
Martin Jahn, Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing, spoke about resource efficiency and the move towards sustainable development in the ŠKODA dealer network.
Water & biodiversity
Maren Gräf, Member of the Board for Human Resources Management, opened this series of lectures by describing ŠKODA's approach to biodiversity.
Recordings from each of the days will gradually be added to the Media Library on ŠKODA Space.