VW to Receive World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for Sustainable Development

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VW flips the switch on its solar farm

Flipping the switch at the Volkswagen “solar farm” near the brand’s Chattanooga, TN assembly plant from left are Phoenix Solar AG Representative Andreas Haenel, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, VW Chattanooga CEO Frank Fischer, Silicon Ranch Representative Matt Kisber, Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, Volkswagen AG Representative Wolfram Thomas,and Phoenix Solar Representative Murray Cameron. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen of America.)

VW takes sustainability seriously — witness its solar array at its new manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, TN — so it’s fitting World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for Sustainable Development will go to the German automaker this year.

A press release from VW said 2014 marks the 30th year World Environment Center has presented the award. The automaker said its entry to the contest fell into a crowd of many from various businesses in many sectors of industry. VW plans to accept the Gold Medal Award Thursday, May 15, 2014, during the Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony in Washington, D.C., the release said.

University of Pittsburgh Professor Emeritus Joel Abrams said, “On behalf of the independent Gold Medal Jury, I extend my congratulations to Volkswagen for its longstanding commitment to sustainable business throughout its operations, facilities, workforce and products.” Abrams served as chairman of the group that judged entries.

Volkswagen Group Head of Sustainability Gerhard Prätorius said, “It is a great honor for Volkswagen to receive the Gold Medal Award for Sustainable Development in 2014. This award serves to further motivate and encourage Volkswagen to reach our ambitious goals in the forthcoming years.”

The automaker credited its “Think Blue” sustainability campaign for its being chosen for the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for Sustainable Development:

Think Blue is Volkswagen’s holistic vision toward attaining a sustainable and ecofriendly business model throughout the company’s global operations and, to date, focuses on a range of clean diesel vehicles, sustainability contracts with suppliers, efficiency training throughout Volkswagen’s global workforce, and LEED-certified facilities.

World Environment Center chose VW baased on the merits of VW’s long-term dedication to integrating sustainability into its business products and operations, the release said.

The World Environment Center’s Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development was established in 1985 to recognize significant industry initiatives in global environmental excellence and sustainable development, the release said. Recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award are: Unilever (2013), IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Wal-Mart Stores (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), and Marks & Spencer (2008).

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