The entire management of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand undergoes the fors.earth sustainability awareness and strategy training
Project time frame: September 2018 to January 2020
„The topics environment and sustainability are important for VWN (Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles) and the workers' council. We have to break down barriers both internally and externally and integrate social and ecological concerns into our company step by step in order to remain economically successful. It's a long road, but it's the right one.."
After an intensive planning phase with fors.earth, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has adopted a sustainability strategy and associated framework. These now need to be implemented "on the road". It is essential that every single employee makes his or her own contribution. In order to reach all employees, the management board has requested that the management circle and the top members of the workers' council should be the first ones to be trained on the strategic relevance of the environment and sustainability for the business success of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Subsequently, the department heads and the entire workforce should be reached.
fors.earth developed the training concept in partnership with the sustainability team of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. fors.earth led the training sessions and provided an insight into overall societal developments and global changes in the sustainability space and their influence on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The most important challenges and opportunities for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles were climate change, environmental protection, urbanization and resource efficiency.
Representatives of the Volkswagen Group's sustainability department presented the sustainability program, with particular emphasis on the decarbonization strategy. Building on this, the corresponding department of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented the brand's sustainability strategy with the specific challenges for light commercial vehicles.
The format was deliberately designed to be interactive in order to promote the cross-departmental exchange between managers and initiate cooperation to achieve common goals.
“With the training sessions we were able to reach out to our entire management team and show them the business relevance of the topics of environment and sustainability. fors.earth made a decisive contribution to getting all participants on the same level in terms of content, giving them a better understanding of the topics and motivating them to take action.“
Dr. Susanne Leifheit (Head of External Relations and Sustainability)
The members of management team and selected workers' council members at the brand locations in Germany and Poland were trained in around 20 training sessions and networked with each other on the topic of sustainability. By looking at sustainability issues from the outside (outside-in) and identifying stakeholder expectations, management was made aware of the strategic relevance of sustainability issues for the business success of the Volkswagen Group and for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (inside-out).
As important multipliers at the interface between strategy and operational implementation, the managers were enabled to make their own contributions in line with their departments. They are contributing to, for example, the development of sustainable products and mobility solutions, but also to issues such as social responsibility, the involvement of employees, etc. in the sense of a holistic commitment. This networking took place across all business units, from vehicle development, procurement, and production to sales.
In addition, fors.earth provided impulses for internal and external communication on the upcoming transformations. The aim is to involve the entire workforce in conscious and proactive sustainable action in their own area of responsibility - as well as to address relevant external stakeholder groups.
“I was impressed by the management training courses on the strategic significance of environmental and sustainability issues at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. You can see that the company takes the issue seriously and wants to play an active role in shaping sustainable mobility in the future. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has the opportunity to set standards, especially on the last mile. For managers, this requires a rethinking in many areas. Alternative drive systems will become increasingly important - with implications for the entire value chain and thus for all departments. The discussions we have had in the training sessions show me that management now has a better understanding of the challenges that the upcoming transformations will bring for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, but especially of the opportunities they present for future business development.“
Dr. Alexis Katechakis, Trainer and Managing Director fors.earth GmbH