Probably the world's largest series of climate protection workshops
On the occasion of Earth Day on April 22, 2021, all employees were invited to spend an hour learning about climate protection and developing ideas for personal contributions
Climate protection at Volkswagen – going beyond the decarbonization program
The Volkswagen Group has committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and aims to be carbon neutral in balance sheet terms by 2050. To this end, Volkswagen has developed a decarbonization program along the entire value chain - from the supply chain to recycling. The most important component of the program is the electrification of products.
But climate protection is a joint task - each and every individual should make a contribution. The aim is therefore for Volkswagen employees not only to stand behind the Group's goals and contribute to achieving them, but ideally also to become active in their personal environment.
A one-hour team workshop on climate protection for all 660,000 employees
Earth Day, on April 22, 2021, was therefore taken as an opportunity to raise awareness of climate protection among all employees of all Volkswagen brands worldwide, to impart knowledge to them and to motivate them to develop ideas for their own contributions as well as further contributions by the company.
And fors.earth was there from the very beginning! The idea for #Project1Hour was born in the lead-up to Earth Day 2020, inspired by the similar Scania Climate Day. Together with a diverse project team from different Volkswagen departments and external experts, we worked out the concept as well as the schedule. The main task of fors.earth was to design the content and methodology of the one-hour team workshop and to develop the materials. Among other things, we developed a climate quiz, a CO2 quick check and the discussion basis for the development of personal climate protection measures, which were to be carried out in teams of 5 to 20 people.
Due to the Corona pandemic, the project was haltet prematurely in 2020 and postponed to Earth Day 2021 at the explicit request of the Board, despite the ongoing difficult circumstances due to the covid regulations. Thus, an adaptation of the #Project1Hour concept and materials took place to enable a digital implementation in addition to in-person workshops. With this adaptation, the development of additional materials, professional checks, sparring as well as the support of various brands and business units during the rollout, fors.earth contributed to the success of the project in 2021.
At the same time, we helped set up a "Start your Climate Action" intranet page with background information and a call to register as a "Climate Action Pioneer" and share personal commitments to climate protection measures with other colleagues. This is the basis for a global community for Climate Action in the Volkswagen Group.
A starting point for global contributions to climate protection
On April 22, 2021, the Volkswagen Group's 660,000 employees worldwide stopped work for one hour for #Project1Hour - from Chattanooga to Beijing, from Audi to Skoda. As such, this may have been the world's largest series of climate protection workshops to date - in at least 35 languages. Even if only some of the participants draw conclusions for their personal behavior from the knowledge and discussions in the workshop and integrate small or larger contributions to climate protection into their everyday lives, the impact of the #Project1Hour will have been huge.
The project generated an enormous response on social media under #Project1Hour with posts from motivated Volkswagen employees from all over the world who shared their ideas and contributions, inspiring others even beyond the boundaries of the Volkswagen world. We hope that the project will have an even greater impact through employees sharing their ideas with friends and family.
For Volkswagen, the #Project1Hour was also the starting point for building a permanent community of Climate Action Pioneers, who exchange ideas on climate protection and drive it forward within the company.
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