Now in their 22nd season in Germany’s top tier Bundesliga, VfL Wolfsburg are not only a well-established top-flight side but also at the cutting edge as a football club. This is particularly true when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Wolves provide regular information on the concrete measures they are taking in this area in a progress report, the fourth edition of which was presented at Monday’s ‘Football Makes a Difference’ forum at the Volkswagen Arena. The gist of the report is that although things have not gone to plan on the pitch in the last two seasons, VfL again achieved groundbreaking successes in their CSR activities during this period.
“The findings of the progress report underline once more our exceptional position in the field of CSR,” said managing director Dr. Tim Schumacher. “We’ve again cemented our leading position in Europe by tackling important social issues. Sustainability and engagement remain the core messages of our work as a club in 2018.”
The key points from the fourth progress report:
Pablo Thiam is taking on the role of integration officer:
The sporting director of VfL’s Under-23 and youth teams represents the club in matters relating to integration and has held a vital role as a VfL ambassador since February 2018.
Switch to LED stadium floodlights part of wider transition to LED lighting:
The implementation of LED lighting at the Volkswagen Arena has led to an increased lifetime of 50,000 hours (compared to 3,000 hours with conventional bulbs). This also means less waste is produced.
Significant improvements in the club’s CO2 emissions as a result of the Corporate Carbon Footprint analysis for the 2017/2018 season:
Total emissions are down 14 per cent today compared to 2011. The Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF) details the amount of greenhouse gases produced by VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH.
Nilla Fischer the first Bundesliga captain to wear a rainbow armband:
The VfL Ladies centre-back became the first captain in the Bundesliga to wear a rainbow armband in March 2017. As well having as the full backing of her team, she also received widespread support on social media. The powerful symbol for diversity has since been adopted by all of the club’s teams.
VfL support the league-wide day of action against discrimination:
As part of the Bundesliga’s day of action against discrimination and for coexistence without prejudice, the Green-Whites wore kits with the slogan ‘Vielfalt’ (diversity) for their home match against FC Schalke 04 on 17 March 2018. Fans supported the gesture by holding up 20,000 green cards that had been placed on their seats as the teams walked out.
As background to the progress report:
VfL Wolfsburg is conscious of its corporate responsibility towards people and the environment. It has therefore firmly embedded CSR into its credo in order to be seen as a leading player nationally and internationally in professional football. The club produces an extensive report to this end every four years, with the most recent one coming in 2016. VfL also provides an update on the status of its CSR activities at the halfway point of this cycle in a more condensed form.
The 2018 CSR progress report follows the structure of the previous reports. This ensures transparency and makes the development steps more understandable. The presentation of the accountability texts based on the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) also contributes to this. Spread over 50 pages, the fourth progress report presents VfL Wolfsburg’s wide-ranging CSR activities over the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. It follows on from the 2016 CSR progress report and the 2014 sustainability report.