The Volkswagen Group is restructuring its Sustainability unit; Dirk Voeste will be appointed as the new Chief Sustainability Officer with effect from April 1, 2023 and will report to Gernot Döllner, Head of Group Strategy and General Secretariat.
Dirk Voeste succeeds Ralf Pfitzner, who after five years in the post is leaving the company at his own request to pursue new challenges outside the Group. The Group is also realigning the independent Sustainability Council in response to new challenges against the background of digital and sustainable transformation.
The Volkswagen Group was the first automobile manufacturer to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement back in 2018. Its strategy and corporate targets are aimed at ensuring the entire Group has a net carbon-neutral footprint by no later than 2050. This objective encompasses not only vehicles but also factories and processes.
Under the baton of Ralf Pfitzner, the Sustainability unit significantly drove the implementation of the decarbonization program forward in recent years. The Group was reinstated into the UN Global Compact in 2021. Flanked by his team, Ralf Pfitzner also recently mobilized some 300,000 employees as part of the annual Project1Hour campaign.
The Sustainability unit is one of ten strategic action areas with which the Volkswagen Group is moving ahead at full steam under the direction of CEO Oliver Blume. The sponsor of the strategic initiative in the Group Board of Management is Manfred Döss, the Board member responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs, who will ensure that the objectives are rigorously pursued and the measures and target achievement are regularly evaluated. To this end, Dirk Voeste, who has over 20 years of experience in corporate sustainability, will restructure the Sustainability department and ensure its management across brands and regions.