The most recent companywide sustainability report from Volkswagen comes in at a tidy 168 pages. Here's hoping not too many folks took out trees by printing the whole thing out.

Europe's biggest automaker said it has reduced the amount of both energy and water required to make each vehicle by 10 percent during the past two years. Additionally, average new-car emissions on Volkswagen's European fleet has dropped about seven percent during that time.

VW, which so far has turned more to diesel than to electric-drive for fuel-efficiency gains, is looking to boost its environmental credibility, even going as far as making nice with Greenpeace after a couple years of salvos, mostly from Greenpeace. Last month, Volkswagen Chairman Martin Winterkorn and Greenpeace Chief Executive Director Brigitte Behrens met for the first time to pledge collective support of Europe's tightening emissions standards.

Read VW's press release below and get access to the link to the report here.
Show full PR text
Volkswagen Group presents most comprehensive sustainability report
  • Interim assessment of economically, environmentally and socially responsible action
  • Lower resource consumption per vehicle produced
At today's Annual General Meeting in Hanover, the Volkswagen Group is presenting its most comprehensive sustainability report to date. The report, which consists of 168 pages, provides information on the progress achieved in economic, environmental and social sustainability in 2012. As one of the world's largest mobility companies, Volkswagen has set itself ambitious climate protection targets and is making massive investments in more efficient vehicles, production and technologies.

"We are aligning the entire Group with the goals of maximum energy- and resource efficiency," Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, und Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the General and Group Works Council of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, underscore in the preface to the report. They state that Europe's largest automaker once again proved last year through a variety of measures and progress that it had shouldered its "major responsibility for employees and customers, for an intact environment and for balanced social development."

The report indicates that the energy and water consumption per vehicle produced has already been reduced by about 10 percent over the past two years. The average CO2 emissions of the European new vehicle fleet were reduced from 144 g to 134 g per kilometer between 2010 and 2012. The Group brands already offer 245 models with less than 120 g CO2 per kilometer. In order to achieve the Group goal of making each new model generation 10 to 15 percent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, environmental mentors already contribute their specialist knowledge from the beginning of the vehicle development process.

By using holistic life-cycle assessments, the Group identifies further optimization potential with respect to climate protection and the conservation of resources.

The report not only provides detailed information on sustainable mobility within the Volkswagen Group but also on sustainability in supplier relations, compliance and the implementation of consistent worldwide quality standards for specialist training and employee qualification.