Example Case: Historical screening – Volkswagen

December 15, 2022

In this case we will take a closer look at Volkswagen.

First we want to see what has happened historically over a longer period of time to see if there has been any significant events. Then we will take a look at more recent events and where the company currently stands.

Investigating significant events


We start by searching for Volkswagen in the search bar and selecting the company from the results.

Overview of the company page

We come to the company page which looks like this.

We will go through the different modules in the following sections.

Graph overview

We start the screening by looking at the graph.

For this case we want to look quite far back in time so we start by selecting a custom interval starting from 2015.

Zoom in on event

We see that there is a significant movement in the graph starting in late 2015 which we want to look closer at.

We zoom in by selecting an interval directly in the graph.

Changing the time interval will affect all other modules on the page meaning that we always look at the relevant data for the selected interval.

We now get a graph looking like this.

Get insights using the word cloud

We now turn to the word cloud to get some sense of what is going on during this time period.

Some of the words are very telling of what’s going on, we can for example see “scandal”, “cheat”, “emission” and “dieselgate”.

This event is of course the scandal known as “Dieselgate” starting in September 2015.

A closer look at the scores

From the graph we can see that it’s mostly the environmental and governance score that are affected by this scandal.

If we want a higher granularity of the scores, we can take a look at the table below the graph which is showing the scores for the different subcategories.

A closer look at the environmental categories reveals that the subcategories that are most affected are “Ghg Emissions” and “Air Quality” which makes sense considering that the scandal were related to emissions from cars.

We also want to investigate the governance subcategories since the governance score was the most affected in the graph.

Here we can see that the most affected subcategories are “Business Ethics” and “Management Of Legal & Regulatory Framework”.

One interesting thing to notice here is that the score for the first subcategory recovers during the time period, while the second keeps falling until the end of the interval.

Get more details from the news feed

To get an even deeper understanding of what is going on, we can take a look at the news feed.

By default it’s set to show the top news i.e. the news that affects the score the most during the selected time period.

It also shows news categorized as environmental, social or governance news, but it’s possible to filter to only show any single of these categories.

Here we can see that the absolute majority of the top news are indeed related to the Dielselgate scandal.

Taking a look on what has happened after the scandal

Zooming out

We now zoom out again to analyze what has happened after the scandal. We see that we currently have a positive environmental score, a negative social score and a neutral governance score.

To analyze how the scores ended up here we will now move to the News Analysis tab instead.

News Analysis tab overview

This is an overview of the News Analysis tab. The word cloud and news feed to the right are the same as on the Sanctify ESG tab, but the rest is different.

Graph and sentiment breakdown

We start by focusing on the graph and sentiment breakdown.

This graph shows the ratio between positive and negative news articles for the different categories for the previous 10 years.

By looking at the sentiment breakdown, we see that the number of negative and positive articles for this period are quite similar, which indicates there there has been quite a lot of positive articles to weigh up for the massive impact of the scandal.

We can see that it’s the environment score that has the most significant increase, and we will investigate further.

Zooming in

We zoom in on the part where the increase is most significant, starting around late 2018/early 2019.

Now we see that there is an overweight of positive news for this period, which matches the increase in the graph.

Word cloud

Turning to the word cloud to get a sense of what’s going on, we see that there is still mention of “emission” which could relate to the previous scandal, but now we also see some words like “ev”, “production” and “battery” which could indicate the switch to production of electric vehicles.

Detailed environmental metrics

We scroll down to the table to try and get some more insights from the detailed environmental metrics.

Before looking at the subcategories we first start by confirming that there indeed has been a heavy overweight of positive news related to the environment, 183 positive vs 86 negative, more than twice as many!

Moving on to the subcategories we can see that the different subcategories have completely different trends. “Ghg Emissions” and “Air Quality” are still very negative, which could indicate that the company is still negatively affected by the scandal.

However we see a huge positive trend in “Energy Management” and also a positive trend in “Ecological Impacts”. This could suggest that there is a lot going on in their efforts to switch over to electrically powered vehicles.

News feed

To try and confirm our suspicions we move on to the news feed and filter by environmental news.

When we sort by top news, most of them are still related to the Dieselgate scandal which confirms what we have seen before.

Zoom in further

To get find some of the positive news that we are looking for we zoom in further in the graph to a section where the environmental trend i particularly high.

Now we start seeing some positive news as well which are mostly about the switch to electrical vehicles as previously suggested.


We found a huge scandal several years ago, but the company has recovered quite nicely, especially within the environmental sector with their efforts to electrify their vehicles.