An Oxygen Area in Volkswagen Group Italia
Volkswagen Group Italia's Oxygen Area, built inside the Verona headquarters, occupies a total area of 635 square meters and is composed of trees, shrubs and grassy lawn: all species were carefully selected on the basis of their peculiar air-purifying capacity and effectiveness. The project is one of the initiatives identified by the Company to achieve the goal, shared by the entire Volkswagen Group, of the complete decarbonization by 2050. The purifying activity of the plants is attested by the IBE-CNR (Institute for BioEconomy of the National Research Council of Bologna). Once fully grown and in full activity, they will be able to absorb 7,054 kg of CO2 and 22 kg of pollutants and to produce 5,000 kg of oxygen on an annual basis.* Sgaravatti Group took care of the execution on the Oxygen Area, which created the concept and designed the project.
"With its 'goTOzero' environmental mission, Volkswagen Group Italia has committed itself to a sustainability strategy that aims to reduce the impact of its activities, focusing not only on the continuous improvement of processes and efficient management of all resources, but also engaging to other initiatives, including the Oxygen Area. Thanks to its ability to capture atmospheric pollutants and release oxygen, the area falls perfectly within this perimeter and actively contributes to the goal of achieving a CO2-neutral balance by 2050”, says Marcus Osegowitsch, CEO of Volkswagen Group Italia. "At the same time, it is a space that improves the quality of company life: deliberately positioned in a central area of the company garden, between the Spareparts Distribution Center and the office building, it is equipped with Wi-Fi and benches and it is available to all employees for breaks and informal meetings; it can be used as an alternative workstation, but also for events and meetings".
The “green frame” embracing the Oxygen Area includes a great variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants: in fact, it has over 320 specimens surrounding the 170 square meters of grassy lawn. The selected species are not rare, but common plants with surprisingly purifying properties – lime trees, oaks, maples, rosemaries and myrtles, among others. These create a sort of 'chamber' in which the environmental conditions are particularly favourable in terms of air purification, CO2 absorption and oxygen production, thus making a concrete contribution to improving the quality of the air. An IBE-CNR detection control unit is installed inside, which constantly analyses the surrounding atmospheric quality and measures the presence of molecules such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter (both PM10 and PM2.5) and fine dust.
*The evaluation is based on the i-Tree Eco model developed by the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by IBE-CNR for adaptation to local Italian microclimatic conditions; the calculation is carried on the basis of plant size and environmental conditions.
VGI | Responsible OU: VP | Creation date: news date | Class 9.1
Green headquarters for Volkswagen Group ItaliaReducing CO2 emissions from company activities by 30%, cutting energy requirements by 20% (by 2025, compared to 2019), and obtaining the NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) certification: with these goals in mind, Volkswagen Group Italia has started the renovation project of its Verona headquarters.The works will bring enormous benefits: the energy efficiency of the building will considerably improve, and it will be upgraded from class C to A4. Thanks to this, energy requirements will be drastically reduced: from 228.44 to 40.00 kWh/m2 per year, which will correspond to a cut in CO2 emissions of 702 t/year (30% less than today). With this major renovation, the Volkswagen Group Italia headquarters will meet the requirements to receive the NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) certification. In addition, the Company will identify climate protection projects to support in order to offset unavoidable emissions, in line with its environmental policy.Marcus Osegowitsch, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Italia: "These works, which have such a profound impact on our headquarters and corporate life, demonstrate once again Volkswagen Group Italia's sheer determination to achieve the environmental objectives defined in the goTOzero mission. A commitment that in parallel also translates into other projects, such as the progressive decarbonisation of the company fleet, the already completely green energy supply, i.e. 100% from certified renewable sources, the systematic introduction of initiatives to reduce waste and waste generation, and the digitalisation of processes. The fight against climate change, the efficient use of resources, the improvement of local air quality and environmental compliance - the four specific focuses of our mission - are and will be objectives pursued with the same tenacity with which business targets are addressed".The renovation, which started at the beginning of November, is going to last about two years and will revolutionise the current aspect of the building, both inside and on the façade, which will be completely renewed with the installation of glass panels with specific insulating and screening properties. The works will not only reduce the building's environmental footprint, but also improve its safety standards and modernise its systems and services, using more efficient equipment with lower energy consumption.Last but not least, the interiors will be completely redesigned with a smart office approach, with large open spaces and ergonomic furnishings alongside coworking and relaxation areas. "A mix of options designed to increase the quality of corporate life," says Raffaella Ponticelli, Human Resources Director, "which will increase collaboration among teams, strengthen synergies and facilitate both sharing and concentration. Moreover, following also the consolidated use of smart working, we will abandon the custom of fixed workstations, shifting instead to the smart desk concept". Specifically, the number of available desks will be 15% lower than the total number of employees with office tasks; the workstations will no longer be permanently assigned, but occupied indiscriminately on the days of work from the office, with reservations made via app. This new approach will allow the company to take a further step forward in terms of flexibility and efficiency.
VGI | Responsible OU: VP | Creation date: 16.11.2021 | Class 9.1
Minimizing the impact on the environment: the "goTOzero" mission and environmental policy of Volkswagen Group ItaliaBy setting out its "goTOzero" mission and environmental policy, Volkswagen Group Italia is establishing tangible objectives and a clear framework for minimizing its impact on climate. The guidelines and targets set out in the two documents act as a compass and a framework for doing business in an environmentally friendly manner and limiting carbon dioxide emissions as far as possible.The goal - common to the entire Volkswagen Group - is to achieve a carbon-neutral balance sheet by 2050.The aspiration to minimize the environmental impact, throughout the entire life cycle, of all Volkswagen Group Italia products and mobility solutions lies at the heart of the "goTOzero" mission, which aims to preserve ecosystems and generate positive effects on society. A fundamental requirement for all actions is compliance with environmental regulations, standards and set objectives.The areas of action identified in the mission converge on four specific focuses:
In addition to the objectives set out in the "goTOzero" mission, Volkswagen Group Italia has adopted its own environmental policy. Divided into five areas - leadership and responsibility, compliance, environmental protection, collaboration with stakeholders, communication and training, and lastly, continuous improvement - the policy sets out the principles to be adopted to make environmental protection a reality in all business activities.
- Climate change: Volkswagen Group Italia is committed to operating in line with the Paris Climate Agreements. The aim is to become a CO2-neutral company by 2050; by 2025, carbon dioxide emissions from its activities are expected to be reduced by 30% compared to 2019.
- Resources: Volkswagen Group Italia intends to optimize efficiency in the use of resources and promote circular economy, maximizing the use of renewable energy sources and eco-sustainable materials. By 2025, it plans to reduce the energy requirements of the Verona headquarters by 20% compared to 2019. A further objective is to obtain NZEB (Near Zero Emission Building) certification.
- Air quality: Volkswagen Group Italia promotes electric mobility in order to improve air quality at a local level. The aim is to offer environmentally friendly solutions in collaboration with suppliers, business partners, authorities and institutions. By 2025 it expects to place a share of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on the Italian market that exceeds 20% of the total number of cars sold by Volkswagen Group Italia.
- Environmental compliance: Volkswagen Group Italia aims to become an example of a modern, transparent and successful company by implementing and monitoring management systems that consider the environmental impact of all activities. By 2025, the aim is to have the environmental management system certified.
VGI | Responsible OU: VP | Creation date: 15.10.2021 | Class 9.1
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