Volkswagen Sustainability Council signals end for internal combustion engines

The Volkswagen Board and the independent Volkswagen Sustainability Council have discussed decarbonisation plans and the Group’s corporate purpose to provide carbon neutral mobility, and an end date for internal combustion engines.

The nine-member Sustainability Council has been advising on strategic issues relating to sustainability and social responsibility since 2016, and during the discussion both sides agreed on a more thorough ESG reporting system, and to commission an additional study on socially responsible workforce transition.

Investment criteria will now increasingly centre on ESG aspects, making it necessary stronger ESG reporting, ensuring transparency and measurability. “Volkswagen has the opportunity to set itself apart from the competition with its global sustainability agenda,” said Georg Kell, founding director of the UN Global Compact and spokesperson for the Sustainability Council.

The top priorities of the Council for the next two years include supporting the car maker to become a purpose-driven company, which in the Council’s view is crucial to guaranteeing employees’ buy-in for the transformation. “It’s the reason that makes employees get out of bed every morning,” said Magdalena Gerger, CEO and president of Systembolaget AB. Encouraged by the Council’s recommendation, Volkswagen decided to include the purpose discussion in its Strategy 2030, which will be presented later this year.

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