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  2. Sustainability
  3. Engagement
  4. #Project1Hour

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Earth Day 2021: “I’m a professional climate protector”

“I’m a professional climate protector”

To mark Earth Day on 22 April, the Volkswagen Group is giving all employees the opportunity to get involved in #Project1Hour: 660,000 employees will be given one hour, with their teams, to develop their own ideas to fight global warming. We introduce five people who work to protect the climate on a daily basis. Motto: “I’m a professional climate protector.”

When Zsolt Zentai looks out of his office window, he sees solar panels far and wide. Solar energy is a key factor in the AUDI site Győr in Hungary recently becoming carbon neutral. And Zentai has an important role, as overseer of planning for the factory infrastructure and building technology. “In our factory we take every opportunity to save energy. We only install LED lights now, and we reclaim heat from the ventilation systems. Our essential energy mostly comes from renewable sources,” he said.

Zentai has not only been the driving force behind the installation of the photovoltaic system, which is the same size as about 22 football pitches. He and his team have also ensured that AUDI in Hungary makes use of the earth’s warmth. Back in 2015, a Hungarian specialist company drilled two production wells and two back-pressure wells of around 2,500 meters in depth near the plant. Far below the earth’s surface is a source of thermal water with a temperature of around 100 degrees near Győr. The geothermal system provides 80 percent of AUDI Hungaria's own heating needs via a heat exchanger system, and also supplies heat to part of the city of Győr. “Our geothermal system works with a closed underground water circulation system, so that we don’t pollute natural resources,” said Zentai.

Zentai also lives sustainably on a personal level. When something in his home breaks, he only gets rid of it if it can’t be repaired. The 57-year-old has two children and one granddaughter. Zentai: “Perhaps it has something to do with an American Indian saying that sometimes springs to mind: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

From flowering meadow to insect hotel

Petra Larin: “Sustainability thrives on small contributions.”

As the environmental manager of the Transparent Factory, Petra Larin works in the centre of Dresden, overlooking the botanical garden. “For this reason alone, sustainability plays a major role for us. We owe it to our neighbours, ”said the graduate engineer.

Dresden, the second production facility for the fully electric ID.3 after Zwickau, is one of the first climate-neutral locations in the Volkswagen Group. The Transparent Factory saves 3,600 tons of CO₂ annually just by using natural electricity from hydropower. But it's not the big projects that are environmental manager Larin’s pride and joy. “Sustainability thrives on small contributions. This includes our flowering meadows, the insect hotels, the nesting aids for birds,” she said.

Since the Transparent Factory was founded around 20 years ago, one thing has been clear: A production location in the city centre must blend in as seamlessly as possible. Instead of fences and barriers, visitors to Dresden encounter plenty of greenery and a facade that allows you to look inside. Flowers, ponds and hundreds of trees characterise the outdoor area. “Symbiosis is our goal - this is what our collaboration with the botanical garden is all about; they help us select the most suitable plants,” said Larin. Since switching to e-mobility, the Transparent Factory has not only delivered electric cars - it also charges them with electricity from its own solar energy systems.

And ecology is important to Petra Larin in her own garden: As well as cultivating crops, she grows wildflowers, and deadwood provides a habitat for insects, amphibians and reptiles. When she is not out and about on her bike, she drives a car with hybrid drive. “Everyone can do their bit to help us achieve our climate goals. We are responsible for ensuring that the next generation has an environment worth living in,” she said.  

Less food waste in catering – thanks to AI

Porsche has been piloting artificial intelligence (AI) since last year, to better plan what the canteens provide and to reduce the environmental impact of wasted food and the use of potable water. Two minds behind the pilot project: Ulf Schnoor, Head of Catering in Weissach, and Patrick Gehe, Project Manager for Digitization & New Technologies in HR.

Ulf Schnoor (left) and Patrick Gehe are working on improving the environmental footprint of Porsche’s canteens.

The basic concept: Using a deep learning algorithm, AI calculates its recommendation as to the range and quantities of dishes that the Porsche canteens in Weissach, Hemmingen and Rutesheim should offer. “The AI takes various influencing factors into account, for example, previous sales volumes, calendar data and meteorological data,” explained Gehe.

And the success is quantifiable after just a few months – even though the coronavirus pandemic made planning difficult in the canteens as well. “The new system optimises our planning process, which enables us to significantly reduce food waste due to excess production. With 3.6 million meals sold each year, this has a huge impact – this is our contribution to protecting the climate,” said Schnoor. AI not only optimises the use of food, it also helps provide a well-balanced, healthy menu. Porsche will gradually roll out the canteen AI to all 16 canteens across Germany in 2021.

“We want to develop the sustainable supercell”

Tim Dagger: “We are all responsible for slowing down global warming.”

Electric cars are an important solution for environmentally-friendly, individual mobility – and the battery is a central component of every e-car. At the Volkswagen Group Components Center of Excellence in Salzgitter, chemist Tim Dagger is working on developing ever more powerful battery cells.

In collaboration with his colleagues, Dagger is improving the chemistry of lithium-ion cells, such as those used in the Volkswagen ID. family models. “We’re trying to develop a high-performance, inexpensive, sustainably produced supercell,” he said with a smile. His expertise is also in demand for the automotive industry of today. Converting entire factories to e-mobility requires experts who are familiar with the properties of batteries. This makes Dagger the go-to person for Volkswagen's new electrical locations as well.

Dagger has been working on lithium-ion technology since 2012. “It makes me very happy to see how this technology is now helping electric cars break into the mass market,” he said. A large number of scientific studies show that battery-powered electric cars have the best carbon footprint of all drive types.

“Climate change is one of the greatest societal challenges of our time and we are all responsible for slowing down global warming,” said Dagger. Volkswagen is taking a holistic approach to this – for example, by selling green electricity, recycling batteries and decarbonising the entire company. “All of this fits with my understanding of future-proof, sustainable mobility. I am proud that, as a battery cell developer, I can do my bit.”

#Projekt1hour

Combating climate change is a challenge for all of us, on both a small and a large scale. For today´s Earth Day, Volkswagen is setting an example for the future with #Project1Hour. Here you can find all the information about the campaign, in which 660,000 employees worldwide are taking part.

From Chattanooga to Beijing, from Audi to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: with today's #EarthDay, the twelve brands of the Volkswagen Group and their 660,000 employees make a strong statement. At the #Project1Hour, they will interrupt their work for one hour to learn together about climate protection and develop concrete improvements.

Don't miss any updates, subscribe here to the Volkswagen YouTube channel: https://vw.to/gkdac563fe

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Further information can be found on our Newsroom: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en

and on the Volkswagen Twitter-channel:
http://www.twitter.com/volkswagen
https://twitter.com/VWGroup

Note in accordance with Directive 1999/94/EC in its currently applicable version: Further information on official fuel consumption figures and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the EU guide "Information on the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption of new cars", which is available free of charge at all sales dealerships, from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Straße 1, D-73760 Ostfildern, Germany and at www.dat.de.


Von Chattanooga bis Peking, von Audi bis Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge: Mit dem weltweiten Earth Day am heutigen 22. April setzen die zwölf Marken des Volkswagen Konzerns und ihre Beschäftigten mit dem #Project1Hour ein gemeinsames Zeichen. Rund 660.000 Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter unterbrechen heute für eine Stunde ihre Arbeit, um sich gemeinsam zum Klimawandel zu informieren und konkrete Verbesserungen zu entwickeln.

Kein Video von Volkswagen mehr verpassen, hier geht's zum Abo:
https://vw.to/gkdac563fe

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Weitere Informationen zu Volkswagen finden Sie auf dem Volkswagen Newsroom:
https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/de

und auf Twitter:
https://twitter.com/volkswagen
https://twitter.com/VWGroup

Hinweis nach Richtlinie 1999/94/EG in der jeweils gegenwärtig geltenden Fassung: Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO2-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem "Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen" entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Straße 1, D-73760 Ostfildern oder unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

#Project1Hour: #VWGroup and its 660,000 employees launch largest climate campaign in company history

The twelve brands of the Volkswagen Group and their 660,000 employees are preparing to make a strong statement. At the #Project1Hour, they interrupt their work for one hour to learn together about climate protection and develop concrete improvements.

Find more information here: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/project1hour-volkswagen-group-and-its-660000-employees-launch-largest-climate-campaign-in-company-history-7027

Don't miss any updates, subscribe here to the Volkswagen YouTube channel: https://vw.to/gkdac563fe

---

Further information can be found on our Newsroom: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en

and on the Volkswagen Twitter-channel:
http://www.twitter.com/volkswagen
https://twitter.com/VWGroup

Note in accordance with Directive 1999/94/EC in its currently applicable version: Further information on official fuel consumption figures and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the EU guide "Information on the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption of new cars", which is available free of charge at all sales dealerships, from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Straße 1, D-73760 Ostfildern, Germany and at www.dat.de.

This is what our colleagues from Volkswagen came up with for #Project1Hour!

News

Watch here all initiatives of the brands

Social Media Statements

LinkedIn statement by Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group.

Read more  

Volkswagen Group on Twitter

The process of the #Project1Hour in detail

Fuel consumption

ID.3 – energy consumption in kWh/100 km (NEFZ): 15.4-13.1 (combined), CO2 emissions in g/km: 0; efficiency rating: A+

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