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Volkswagen - Volkswagen Pro Ehrenamt

Added on 22-03-2013





Business challenge

Many charities and organisations lack sufficient numbers of volunteers; at the same time, many retirees and employees are interested in opportunities to do volunteer work, but are unaware of available volunteering opportunities or simply lack the time to look for a suitable project.


The Volkswagen Pro Ehrenamt initiative is designed to match the need for project volunteers with the interest of those willing to volunteer. Active and former employees at Volkswagen can access a comprehensive databank, where vacancies listing the skills required for voluntary activities, can be found. The database contains a wide variety volunteering projects in a multitude of different areas including teaching, hospital visiting services and handicrafts with primary school pupils.

The Pro Ehrenamt initiative is aimed at all employees at Volkswagen production plants in Germany, including all retirees and early retirees. It provides a platform both for people who want to volunteer and for those who have volunteer opportunities to offer. Apart from making a valuable contribution to society, the project is therefore intended to motivate employees by promoting recognition and respect as a part of everyday interaction in the workplace.

In 2008, the programme was implemented at production plants at Wolfsburg, Braunschweig, Salzgitter, Kassel, Emden and Hannover.


The initiative has recently been taken on by the AutoVision in Wolfsburg; the city of Wolfsburg is also considering participating. However, we are always seeking to broaden the programme, including by expanding it to our other brands and markets.

The project has demonstrated that when volunteer work earns recognition and respect, and contributes to a positive company culture - an objective which should be further encouraged. An important element of the project is the focusing on recognition. With the help of special give-aways and branding of the initiative, we want to give all participants, supervisors and employees alikes, the chance to make their commitment to volunteering visible to their co-workers. Recognition makes employees proud; by earning visible rewards, they can show their colleagues and others that they welcome responsibility both in society and within the company. This can lead to and promote the gradual development of a positive culture of recognition and respect.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

Experience has shown that involvement in voluntary work provides personal satisfaction and is rewarded with recognition

Retirees, early retirees and seniors who are entering a new post-career phase of life are often interested in finding meaningful activities. The programme offers them opportunities to empower others as well as themselves by passing along their knowledge and wealth of experience, providing them with personal satisfaction while helping Volkswagen to optimise the personal development of its employees.

The programme also benefits current employees by giving them the opportunity to:

  • Make a meaningful contribution to local societal needs
  • Enhance knowledge and experience
  • Increase well-being and health
  • Contribute to self-fulfillment
  • Broaden horizons and strengthen people skills

By demonstrating its commitment to employees and society, Volkswagen strengthens its bonds with the local communities. 

More information

Volkswagen Sustainability Report 2009/2010:

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