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Volkswagen Group China’s Green Belt Afforestation Project Rolled Out in Bayannur, Tackling Desertification and Supporting China’s “Three-North” Shelterbelt Forest Program

Volkswagen Group China’s Green Belt afforestation project has planted 850,000 locally suitable trees in Bayannur, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, contributing to ecological restoration and enhancing the management of 4 million square meters of scattered sand that endangers local villages and farmlands. Tailored to the local ecological environment, the project aims at delivering both ecological and economic benefits, improving the livelihood of local residents and local ecology.

Vivian Wei Zhang, Vice President PR and Communications of Volkswagen Group China, remarked: “Green Belt is an integral part of Volkswagen Group China’s sustainability strategy. Our ‘In China, For China’ strategic approach goes beyond business and is also fulfilled through our unwavering commitment to corporate social responsibilities in Chinese community. To date, the Green Belt project has planted 3.4 million locally suitable trees, revitalizing an area of 16 million square meters. This initiative has positively impacted the lives of over 280,000 individuals, shaping a ‘Green Shield’ that spans across northern China.”

Chen Shuxian, Chairman of the China Green Foundation, said: “Desertification remains the most significant ecological threat in northern China, constraining the economic and social development of the affected areas. Situated within the critical northern sand control zone, Bayannur plays a crucial role in preventing northwest sandstorms from invading the southeast. The Green Belt afforestation project is of great importance for local desertification control and safeguarding the ecology security of the Yellow River basin. We look forward to seeing the long-term ecological, economic, and social benefits out of the project and encouraging broader participation in ecological conservation.”

The Green Belt project in Bayannur has combined ecological restoration with economic benefits. By planting trees around villages and farmlands, the project helps curb the expansion of desertification and reduces the negative impact of sandstorms on local residents. Meanwhile, the project also helps block the inflow of sand into rivers and safeguards the ecology security of the Yellow River basin. The project also offers long-term benefits to locals, who will gain economically by engrafting herbal medicines to the trees planted, once the trees grow up.

Jointly initiated by the China Green Foundation, Volkswagen Group China and its brands Volkswagen Brand, Audi, ŠKODA, and Bentley, Green Belt afforestation project plans to plant 8.5 million locally suitable trees in 10 ecologically fragile areas in northern China from 2021 to 2030, covering an afforestation area of 40 million square meters. Launched in 2021, it has completed the afforestation in Gulang, Jinta Counties in Gansu Province, Huzhu County in Qinghai Province, and Bayannur in Inner Mongolia, supporting desertification control, improving the biodiversity, and fortifying the robustness of the local ecosystem. The Green Belt project also contributes to local development by creating employment opportunities and developing the “under-forest” industries. To date, the initiative has positively impacted the lives of over 280,000 individuals.

Rooted in China for 40 years, Volkswagen Group has been actively fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, forging ahead together with Chinese society. In 2021, Volkswagen Group China unveiled a new corporate social responsibility strategy, centering on three strategic areas: Low-Carbon Future, Education, and Economic Empowerment. As the key part of this strategy, the Green Belt afforestation initiative underscores the Group’s dedication to a sustainable, low-carbon future.