Home Latest News VW Group Ireland expands its Corporate Social Responsibility

VW Group Ireland expands its Corporate Social Responsibility

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Staff at Volkswagen Group Ireland are ramping up their fundraising efforts in a bid to help charity. Employees at Volkswagen Group Ireland’s Liffey Valley headquarters recently held a Doggy Play Day fundraiser where staff members were allowed to bring their dogs to work. The event raised more than €2,000 for charity partner Women’s Aid and brought the firm one step closer to breaking its annual fundraising record for charitable causes. More than 200 staff at Volkswagen Group Ireland’s headquarters in Liffey Valley and its nearby National Learning Centre, are on course to raise in excess of €60,000 for a range of good causes in just two years.

As the world returned to work following the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, the firm’s Charity Committee has been able to shift away from online tea parties and virtual treks to physical, in-person fundraisers with all the added energy they bring. In March this year, Volkswagen Ireland raised more than €13,000 for Women’s Aid and Goal’s Ukraine Emergency Appeal by auctioning off its treasured Mk1 Golf. Nicknamed Kermit thanks to its distinctive Bali Green paint job, the 1978 1.1-litre Golf had retailers across the country scrambling to outbid each other in an attempt to land a piece of Irish automotive history. Staff have also been getting their fingers mucky by volunteering at the GLAS Community Garden in Ballymun, run by environmental education organisation Global Action Plan Ireland.

A robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy is increasingly seen as a key component of any forward looking business, benefiting firms in a variety of ways; from employee engagement and satisfaction to staff retention and wellness. As well as empowering employees and benefiting the local communities that profit, charitable activities are increasingly important to the continued success of big business. Last month, a study by Mattison Public Relations showed 54% of FTSE 100 companies have a dedicated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) committee at board level as they address the need for corporate responsibility. Companies taking steps to address their social and environmental responsibilities prove they are interested in more than just profit. Likewise, employees who devote time to charitable causes broaden their personal horizons and benefit from working towards shared goals.

It’s one thing talking about being more socially conscious and responsible but another actually doing something about it. At Volkswagen Group Ireland, all monies raised by staff are matched by the company. Everyone, from interns to board members, participates in CSR activities. Staff members allocate two volunteer days a year to help their chosen charities. Activities are carried out to clear timelines and results are communicated on a regular basis so employees see the benefit their hard work brings. Alexander Hunger, Senior Investor Relations Manager at Volkswagen Group, says socially conscious and responsible firms are looked upon more favourably by partners and potential investors. “ESG and Integrity are important factors in the culture of Volkswagen AG as well as the capital market’s perception of the Group,” he says “Repeating the message on regular occasions, with a new angle each time, insures lessons learned are not lost and that we maintain or regain the trust of all our stakeholders.”

In 2021, Volkswagen Group Ireland employees raised more than €26,150 for nominated charity partner, The Alzheimer’s Association of Ireland, holding a series of online events including a virtual trek around the world where staff walked a combined 43,000km in one month. In 2022, they aim to raise more than €33,500, thereby breaking their fundraising record in support of two nominated charities, Women’s Aid and Global Action Plan Ireland.

Alan Bateson, Volkswagen Group Ireland Board Member responsible for developing the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy, insists the focus is on making meaningful social differences through employee actions. “Having a clear, strategic plan for CSR is a win-win situation,” he says “We are delighted to be helping Women’s Aid Ireland and Global Action Plan Ireland in 2022, both financially and with employee volunteer days. Over the last seven months, employees have worked hard in the Green Living and Sustainability Community Garden in Ballymun to make a real difference for the various community groups that use it. Matching funds for your employees’ charitable activities is a great way to increase engagement and show support for the charities they care about. As a leading employer in Ireland’s automotive space, we are fully aware of the responsibility on us to help local communities and raise funds for the vital work being carried out in the charity sector.”