With the Green Finance Framework (GFF), the Volkswagen Group today presented further guidelines for sustainable financial instruments. In future, it will therefore be possible for investors to invest in a targeted fashion in sustainability projects of the Volkswagen Group such as e-mobility. A new corporate body, the Green Finance Committee, will select appropriate projects and can adapt the GFF to reflect changing requirements. Furthermore, regular reporting will ensure transparency in the use of funds. The objective is to ensure independent external verification of the use of funds.
Frank Witter, Member of the Group Board of Management responsible for Finance and IT, said: “In order to become one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable mobility, significant investments will be needed. The Green Finance Framework consistently links our corporate objective of carbon neutrality in 2050 with our financing strategy. This way, we will be able to diversify our investor basis and offer existing investors further investment alternatives.”
Georg Kell, Spokesman of the Volkswagen Group Sustainability Council, said: “As climate risks are increasingly urgent, it is a most welcome development that Volkswagen will use the power of finance to accelerate investments that will lead to reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The GFF covers the following types of financing: green bonds, green Schuldscheindarlehen, green private placements and green loans. From the beginning, two types of sustainability projects will be integrated in the GFF: electric vehicles based on the modular electric drive toolkit (MEB) and charging infrastructure. In future, other categories may be added to the GFF.
With the Green Finance Committee, a new corporate body for the GFF has been established. The committee is responsible for the selection and assessment of appropriate sustainability projects including monitoring the use of funds for the designated projects. In addition, the committee will be able to adapt the GFF to changing requirements and to add new projects to the portfolio.
For Volkswagen’s GFF, Sustainalytics, a renowned independent rating institute, has given a second party opinion in order to verify compliance with the Green Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and the Green Loan Principles of the Loan Market Association (LMA). Volkswagen also aims to secure certification by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) for the financial instruments to be issued within the GFF.
Volkswagen will report at least once per year on the projects financed within the GFF. Reports are also to be issued on the environmental impact of the projects funded.
In 2018, the Volkswagen Group was the first automaker to commit to the Paris climate goals. Last year, the Group presented its new environmental mission statement “goTOzero”. The aim of the mission statement is to operate the company as environmentally compatible as possible and to achieve a neutral CO2 balance by 2050. The four main areas of activity under the mission statement are climate change, resources, air quality and environmental compliance.