Audi Wexford Receives First Irish ‘GOTOZERO RETAIL’ Sustainability Cerificate

Audi Wexford is the first of the retail partners in Ireland to receive the Volkswagen Group ‘goTOzero RETAIL’ sustainability certificate, achieving a Silver certification. ‘goTOzero RETAIL’ is part of the Volkswagen Group's sustainability strategy and aims to reduce the impact of the entire distribution network on the environment. Participating retailers are shown how they can measure their current environmental impact in order to improve their environmental footprint.

‘goTOzero RETAIL’ was developed for the global partner network of some 17,000 dealerships from around 150 countries as part of Volkswagen Group’s ‘goTOzero’ environmental mission statement. One important goal is to reduce the CO2 footprint of the network by at least 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020. Participating partners of the Volkswagen Group brands, including Audi, are given a tool to record their environmental performance and receive information on how to further improve it.

The certification serves to measure and control the implementation of the environmental strategy at retail level in addition to the Group’s own comprehensive sustainability activities and assesses 70 criteria from four focus areas including climate change, resources, environmental compliance and ecosystems. Audi Wexford is the first retail partner in Ireland across the entire Group to be certified, with further dealerships to follow suit in the coming months.

Damien O’Sullivan, Brand Director at Audi Ireland commented; “Audi is on a journey to become a leading provider of sustainable mobility. We have set the goal of achieving company-wide net carbon neutrality by 2050 and our involvement in Volkswagen Group’s ‘goTOzero RETAIL’ initiative, and Audi Wexford’s certification, is another step towards achieving that goal. I want to thank Stephen Redmond and his team at Audi Wexford for their commitment and investment into their sustainability strategy and congratulate the dealership on their Silver certification.”

In developing ‘goTOzero RETAIL’, relevant elements were taken from established guidelines, such as aspects of the energy efficiency of buildings from building certifications as well as classic management factors such as organisational structures, guidelines, targets and implementation measures from environmental management systems such as ISO 14001. These were supplemented by car dealership-specific evaluation indicators, for example with regard to workshop operations, customer interactions and environmental aspects of the vehicles sold. An expansion of the certification beyond environmental topics in the sense of a holistic sustainability approach (ESG) is planned for the coming years.

Retailers wishing to be certified will go through a multi-stage process. They provide data that the auditors need to verify the environmental performance. Auditors have training based on the ISO14001 and ISO9001 environmental and quality management systems. In addition, they must complete a training course that specifically prepares them for the content of the ‘goTOzero RETAIL’ certification. The auditors evaluate the information collected during an on-site visit and the resulting score determines if the certificate is awarded and which level has been achieved. These range from Bronze to Silver and Gold all the way to Platinum. The certificate is valid for three years. After that, another is required.

Examples of relevant certification criteria:

  • General environmental management: existence of an environmental policy, management structures and employee training, targets for reducing resource consumption and emissions, action plans for reducing the ecological footprint, use or generation of renewable energies
  • Buildings, business operations and properties: Condition of buildings and equipment to reduce energy consumption, measures to reduce water consumption, waste management standards and processes, design of outdoor facilities of the dealership (impact on biodiversity)
  • Interaction with customers: Average CO2 rating of vehicles sold, customer interactions on environmental topics that relate to the vehicle models offered or the dealer's general environmental measures

You can find more details about the ‘goTOzero RETAIL’ initiative and the certificate on the VW Group website here: goTOzero RETAIL | Volkswagen Group (