Audi and Porsche strive for human sustainability
Cultivation of a critical resource – human
Editors note: This is a guest post from Paul Quaiser, CEO/Founder – The Human Sustainability Institute
Human Sustainability is the cultivation of a resource, a resource that effects economic, ecological, political and cultural sustainability – the Human Resource.
Current and future transportation growth patterns, and the way that we develop transportation systems, are important factors in sustaining the world’s limited economic, environmental, and social resources and capacity.
Transportation represents 10 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, is responsible for 22 percent of global energy consumption, 25 percent of fossil fuel burning, and produces 30 percent of global air pollution and greenhouse gases. As such, the transportation sector will play a key role in addressing global sustainability concerns, including depletion of resources, global climate change, disruption of ecosystems, and toxic pollution. Source: Center for Environmental Excellence
Leaders in the automotive industry are familiar with change, even at a dramatic level. Key to engaging that change is the value of innovation, excellence and human factors.
As part of the Volkswagen Group, Audi and Porsche aim to create lasting value: for the company, its employees and its shareholders, but also for the countries and regions in which they operate. This all-embracing view of sustainability is shared by all twelve brands, and the employees across the Group. Together they work to find solutions for the challenges of the future – and make no mistake, those challenges are substantial: markets are shifting, resources are becoming scarcer, emissions regulations are tightening up all over the world, and booming cities call for new and intelligent traffic and mobility concepts. The Volkswagen Group considers it part of their responsibility to find the right answers to these trends. Source: VW Sustainability
One way that happens is to engage the communities in which they operate. The auto industry is integrating with social initiatives for a number of reasons: Consumers are increasing their expectations of the companies they purchase from. A rapidly growing metric is the relevance of the company’s solutions to global challenges. Identifying and retaining talent has also become very competitive, so progressive organizations are now working at the community level to find and develop talent. Since the transportation industry spans technology, engineering, design, and business, it offers multiple “tracks” for our youth to pursue.
The Volkswagen Group offers programs, contests, scholarships and more to identify, develop, sponsor, and recruit leaders of all ages to ensure a sustainable future.
For example, Audi is hosting the inaugural Audi Autonomous Driving Cup, which is intended primarily for students in computer science, electrical engineering or mechanical engineering. Ten teams will be competing against each other at a public event at the Audi Museum Mobile on March 25 and 26, 2015. “Our competition course will serve as the proving ground for the young experts’ software. Oncoming and intersecting traffic, tricky parking situations and obstacles that suddenly appear will put their programming precision to the test,” said Björn Giesler, one of the organizers of the competition. (http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/info_center/en/news/2015/03/wanted.html)
The aim of these initiatives is to enhance the appeal of the subjects and motivate future students to work toward relevant degrees for the transportation industry. And when those students graduate, they will have an affinity for the companies that helped them succeed.
In the United States the STEM emphasis is growing – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. However, there is also an “Application” component that is critical for most learners – STEAM. That is where the industry comes in. Providing learners with the experiential part. In Europe they have MINT schools (MINT = Mathematics, IT, natural sciences, technology) with an array of activities, for example: career information days, lectures on specialist subjects, non-cash donations and outside trips, as well as helping the children to choose their vocation. The Volkswagen Group has already established a proven model of dual vocational education and training at 40 sites in countries including Russia, the USA, India, Brazil and China.
For Porsche and Audi, and their associated dealers, sustainability always includes a social dimension, which is why we set the highest standards for the working conditions and inclusion of our employees. Inclusion also involves Corporate Citizenship: The Volkswagen Group takes this to mean voluntary initiatives and activities that create added value for communities and society. A wide variety of relevant approaches and projects, many of them arising from traditional processes, exist within the Group and its brands and regions, including as many as five corporate foundations such as the Volkswagen Community Trust set up by the Volkswagen brand in South Africa, or the Audi Stiftung für Umwelt (Environment Foundation). The aim here is to find a common systematic approach that also permits an impact assessment to be drawn up.
Here at Prestige Imports, we provide numerous activities that build our local community, like a winter driving event, spring mountain tour, day at the track, and Oktoberfest. And recently, we have been involved with our local schools and students at an Art Event with a focus on students who have demonstrated an interest in the automotive industry. A few students from each grade level were selected by their art teachers to represent their school. The art was displayed at Red Rocks Community College. Red Rocks Community College supports the automotive industry with their Warren Tech school, so the ingredients for sustainability were there.
As an art teacher and Audi driver, Melody Epperson selected Koben Quaiser’s Splatter Car for the following reasons:
“Most of the artwork that is produced in the Elementary Art Program at JCOS (Jefferson County Open School) is student initiated. Drawing an R8 was Koben’s idea from the beginning. We printed a resource to aid his drawing, and he worked hard on his drawing for a couple of weeks. He was very engaged in the process and was really invested in it being precise. During the process, Koben decided to add splatter painting for the background. The splatter paint represents raindrops on the windshield and mud on the car that comes when having fun driving your car.
I chose this piece for the Jeffco Elementary Art Show partially because I watched as Koben experimented with new techniques to get the results he wanted. In order to get the splatter paint in the background and not on the car, he masked off the car with tape and then peeled the tape away. The other reason I chose this piece was that the final piece was stunning with the juxtaposition of the precise drawing combined with the feeling of movement from the splatter paint.”
Koben Quaiser is in 4th grade and has been a regular visitor at the dealership and at Prestige Imports’ events.
Although the vehicle’s shape was inspired by the Audi R8, it was modified to embrace the functionality of an S4 Avant, including the color, Imola Yellow. A color named after Imola Italy, and coincidently the color of his Dad’s (the author’s) car.
Koben is interested in carbon fiber design and fabrication “Koben’s Karbons”. A critical manufacturing aspect for the high performance cars of today and the lightweight and strong needs of the future.
From the editor: Congratulations on this honor Koben! We hope that your passion for automotive design and sustainability leads to a bright future in the industry.