For the first time, ŠKODA took part in the worldwide ‘Earth Hour’. Within the framework of the global community action, initiated by the WWF, the motto in many countries and thousands of cities is: Lights off for an hour! This year, the ‘Earth Hour’ took place on March 23 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. (CET).
The action ‘Earth Hour’ was initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF in short), one of the largest international organizations for the protection of nature, in 2007. More than 6,000 cities in 150 countries participated in the last ‘Earth Hour’ at the end of March 2012. The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Opera House in Sydney, among others, remained dark for an hour.
The purpose of switching off logo illuminations on buildings for 60 minutes lies in the raising of awareness for a more conscious handling of energy and in strengthening the idea of environmental protection beyond the duration of the action. ŠKODA supported the action and switched off the illuminations on selected buildings for an hour, primarily those of logos or outside advertisements. “The ‘Earth Hour’ is a great idea that moves millions of people every year,” says Bohdan Wojnar, the ŠKODA board member for Human Resources. “By taking part, we want to give the action greater prominence and give a sign for environmental protection,” according to Wojnar.
At ŠKODA’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, the action involved the logos at the Customer Service Center, at the ŠKODA MUZEUM, at the University Na Karmeli, at the Service Training Center Kosmonosy and at ŠKODA’s factory gate 8. But at the ŠKODA plant in Vrchlabí, too, the logo was turned off for an hour as was the one at the plant in Kvasiny. Here, the lights of the factory roads were turned off as well.
ŠKODA is continuously improving the company’s sustainability. Fuel-efficient vehicles are a tradition at ŠKODA, the present GreenLine and Green tec models by the Czech automobile manufacturer are evidence for that. At the current time, 52 ŠKODA models with emission values of under 120g CO2/km are being offered, eleven of which have emission values under 100g CO2/km. The GreenLine version of the new ŠKODA Octavia generation will be the thriftiest Octavia ever – with a consumption of just 3.3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers and maximum CO2 emissions of 87 grams per kilometer.
Besides the development and manufacture of fuel-efficient vehicles, ŠKODA focuses on the efficient handling of resources within the framework of its ‘GreenFuture’ strategy. By 2018, the use of energy and water, production of emissions are to be reduced by 25 percent and an even higher degree of recycling in ŠKODA’s car production will be reached. With this goal, the Czech car manufacturer contributes to the goals of the environmental strategy of the Volkswagen Group until 2018.
ŠKODA employees are also involved in environmental protection in their leisure time: Since 2007, ŠKODA has been planting a tree for each automobile sold in the Czech Republic. This has led to the planting of approximately 363.000 trees in the country up to now; almost 60,000 scions will be added this year.