Community

Through our culture and values, we make Volkswagen Group a Great Place to Work. We’ve been in Milton Keynes for over 30 years, playing a positive role in the community and our people are encouraged to make a difference through local charities.

All employees at VWG UK are entitled to an extra day’s leave each year to support a charity or community group. This great initiative was introduced by our Employee Forum in response to feedback from our people, who said they were keen to do their bit in the local community.

Playing our part

We’re proud to support three permanent charities, and a fourth that our employees vote for every year, to become the focus for many fundraising events and activities. Our charity partners are:

  • BEN - the motor industry charity
  • Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes
  • The Milton Keynes Community Foundation

Our chosen charity for 2018 is Cancer Research UK.

Every year our Charity Committee, made up of volunteers from across the organisation, help to organise a wide range of initiatives in support of worthy causes. From bike rides to marathons to zumbathons, our people love to get involved. In the office, there’s barely a week goes by without a cake sale or baking competition – never under-estimate the fund-raising power of food! As a company, we think it’s only right we support our employees’ charitable activities so we regularly boost their fund raising with a company contribution. We also have a volunteering policy to encourage people to donate their time. All our employees can spend a day a year on charitable or community work, and if they take time off to help out, we’ll match this with extra holiday allowance.

Charity Committee

Lowri Cooil is PA to Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and is an active supporter of the Volkswagen Group Employee Charity Committee.

For Lowri, Volkswagen Group’s commitment to backing good causes is an important statement about the values and ethos of the business.

Lowri says: Volkswagen Group supports local charities Willen Hospice and Milton Keynes Community Foundation as well as BEN Automotive Industry Charity and Cancer Research UK on a national level. It’s important to the Group that we support these causes as well as special events such as Children in Need and the MacMillan Coffee Morning.

Our charity outlook adds to the vibrancy of the workplace. It shows that the business has a heart alongside selling cars. There’s a very real human element to what we do.

It is important to us that we include our field force in any activities we organise. For Children in Need I have helped to arrange a five-day event in Commercial Vehicles that involved a PlayStation activity, cake sale and fun day that were not only enjoyable but helped us feel really engaged with the Group.

I feel very proud to work for Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand.

It is evident that the Group looks after staff and provides opportunities to develop and add to your skills.

There are a number of career paths open to you and managers will support and encourage progression to your next step. If I have ideas of how I can develop, then I know that the Group would support me in that.

Different Because We Care

Volkswagen Group UK Limited (VWGUK) is proud to be part of a global business that is recognised for its social performance. Our CSR Policy makes us different because we care through six aims. These are for us to be:

    A great place to work, and an employer of choice for the best new talent
  • work with our Employee Forum to give staff a strong voice in business decisions.
  • encourage and support staff charity and community activities, financially and in kind.
  • maintain best-practice employment policies.
  • reach out to current and future staff through our website and through social media.
    A responsible citizen, both locally and globally
  • support social, cultural and sustainable business activities in our local communities.
  • avoid products linked with exploitation, threatened resources, conflict or human rights abuses.
  • work with our suppliers to make sure they support our aims, and help them where necessary.
    Straightforward, fair dealing, and good to do business with
  • keep our business relationships ethical, transparent, respectful and simple.
  • work with everyone who represents us, including dealers, to help them do the same.
    A beneficial, responsible stakeholder and partner
  • share our experience and give honest opinions and advice.
  • take a full part in business groups, locally and nationally.
  • recognise our role as a substantial employer, and use our influence wisely.
    A safe, responsible and valued company for investors and employees
  • help investors know us as a sound economic and reputational investment
  • All employees at VWG UK are entitled to an extra day’s leave each year to support a charity or community group. This great initiative was introduced by our Employee Forum in response to feedback from our people, who said they were keen to do their bit in the local community.

Top Employer Awards

Volkswagen Group UK Ltd was awarded the Top Employers United Kingdom 2015 certification. Top Employer’s comprehensive independent research revealed that Volkswagen Group UK Ltd provides exceptional employee conditions, nurtures and develops talent throughout all levels of the organisation and has demonstrated its leadership status in the HR environment, always striving to optimise its employment practices and to develop its employees.

Rate My Placement

Rate My Placement placed us in their Top 100 Undergraduate Employers for 2016.

The Job Crowd

Placed in the Top 100 Companies for Graduates to Work For, 3rd in the Benefits category.

Top Employer

Awarded Top Employer 2016 (and every year since 2013).

Great Place to Work

Best Workplaces 2015.

Employee Forum

Employee participation is so important to us that it’s set out in Volkswagen AG’s (our parent company) Charter on Labour Relations. We have adopted these principles in the UK, creating our own Employee Forum (EF) and a Local Charter on Labour Relations. The EF has a full-time chairperson, supported by a team of elected employee representatives, who meet at least monthly to discuss any issues raised by colleagues. The charter sets out how the Board of Management and EF work together to achieve the best results for our business.

The EF plays an important role, keeping our people up to speed, providing feedback on new initiatives before launch, and helping to shape key business decisions. This includes everything from collaborating on organisational change and the scope of a flexible working policy and company car scheme, to creating a contemplation room for meditation and prayer and shaping the service provided by the company restaurant.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The last few years have seen substantial progress for Volkswagen Group UK Limited on all aspects of Sustainability. First, we have seen the launch of our greenest-ever vehicles across the Volkswagen and Audi brands with a selection of both hybrid and fully electric models, both using pure electric powertrain to achieve zero-emissions in use. There are more to come and our other Brands are also preparing for the launch of their own models. In the UK we have gone further than just supplying the vehicles – we have also signed an industry-first partnership deal with the green electricity supplier Ecotricity. This means that our customers can sign up to the unique ‘Blue Power’ package which provides discounted zero-carbon electricity, free membership of the ‘Electric Highway’ national charging network and the option of a free home smart-meter. The discount provides approximately 1000 free miles of motoring in an e-up!, compared with Ecotricity’s standard green energy tariff.

Waste
Our progress hasn’t been limited to our vehicles. We have taken further significant steps towards our 2018 environmental goals, with our most notable success being the achievement of ‘zero waste to landfill’ (excluding construction waste) from our Milton Keynes Head Office, National Learning Centre and Technical Service Centre. This milestone was achieved a whole four years early, by a cooperative approach involving smart segregation of waste at source, leading-edge processing by our contractor and diversion of anything that cannot be recycled from landfill, to energy-from-waste.

Energy and Carbon
We have continued to ensure we minimise our carbon intensity, per vehicle sold, by 25 per cent compared with the 2010 baseline. We have also achieved a dramatic increase in our renewable energy capacity. This involves extending the existing 110 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at our National Parts Warehouse to a far larger system of 1.6 megawatts – almost 15 times greater. When complete, in early 2015, this will be among the largest roof-mounted solar schemes in the country.

However, mid-2014 marked what is likely to be an even more important step, with the decision to broaden the existing – highly successful – environmental strategy to a wider Corporate Social Responsibility endeavour by creating a CSR Policy (see below) and Strategy for the Group. The Policy was signed off by the Board of Management last September, and was launched to the business on 18 November at an event attended by a range of stakeholders including the RSPCA, the Milton Keynes Charitable Foundation and Brooklands Farm Primary School.

The RSPCA were able to show one of the six new Crafter vans donated to them by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. These will be used to transfer rescue animals between centres, helping to manage demand without buying in additional space, and thereby saving over £250,000 per year in boarding fees.

Milton Keynes Charitable Foundation is one of the longest-standing beneficiaries of Volkswagen Group UK giving. On our behalf they manage, and distribute, the Volkswagen Group UK Ltd Fund with the aim of ‘supporting vulnerable members of the Milton Keynes Community’. Each year they make grants of over £12,000 to specific projects selected on our behalf. This is the 30th year that we have supported the Foundation by donating a car to them for their annual raffle, raising far in excess of £1 million since it started. Brooklands Farm Primary School joined us in celebration of the first community project put through under the new CSR Policy. The school approached us, via one of our members of staff who is also a Governor at the school, to ask for our help in completing a project which involves all year groups in doing the sort of real work which we do every day. This included marketing, roadside assistance and even a modern-day update of the original, classic Beetle. The project has been a tremendous success, and has continued with different projects and visits to encourage pupils to consider future career opportunities.

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