Commitment is an act
Innovate and initiate
For example, our commitment to industry-wide initiatives, our focus on new, innovative technologies, and the use of relevant certificates and standards that help us convey and visualize our requirements play a key role here.
Audi is a member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). ASI’s mission is to recognize and collaboratively foster responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminum. Since the initiative was founded, Audi has been able to help develop and successfully implement a global standard for more sustainable aluminum. This standard requires, for instance, that mining companies specifically address ecological, social and governance criteria when mining bauxite aluminum ore, thus acknowledging and considering the concerns of the local residents. For this reason as well, representatives of indigenous peoples are an integral part of the organizational structure of ASI. Audi production sites around the world are being successively certified by external auditors according to the ASI standard to ensure effective control of compliance with standards. Audi was the first car manufacturer to be awarded the ASI Performance Standard certificate and the Chain of Custody certificate by ASI.
Audi has been an active member of the Global Battery Alliance since 2017. This organization advocates the protection of human rights and social standards in the mining of raw materials used in batteries and develops solutions for recycling lithium-ion batteries.
In order to eliminate human rights violations in our own supply chain, we are also planning to audit the sustainability performance of the mines in our supply chain in the medium term. With that in mind, Volkswagen joined the CERA project (Certification of Raw Materials), which is committed to developing sustainability standards for mines, at the beginning of 2019.
AUDI AG intends to use new technologies, among other things, to further increase transparency and traceability in the supply chains. For this reason, we are piloting the use of blockchain technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other innovations in our global, complex supply chains. For instance, Audi uses technology from the start-up Prewave to identify risks along the supply chain at an early stage and take responsibility for them. Intelligent algorithms are used, for example, to ensure that potential sustainability risks in the supply chain are identified quickly. To this end, the Artificial Intelligence developed by Prewave analyzes publicly accessible messages from 150 countries in 50 languages to determine whether there are sustainability violations. Audi is automatically informed whenever a potential sustainability risk begins to develop. The matter is scrutinized in detail within the company, and action is taken as appropriate.
AUDI AG is playing an active part in the “Sector dialog of the automotive industry on respecting human rights along the global supply and value chains” initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS). Solutions are being developed together with other stakeholders to improve compliance with human rights along the global supply and value chains in the German automotive industry. These will deal with risks in raw material supply chains and cross-company grievance mechanisms, for example.
As part of the industry’s Drive Sustainability initiative under the umbrella of CSR Europe, Volkswagen is working on the continual analysis of sustainability risks in the raw materials sector, from which it is deriving individual as well as joint measures with other automotive manufacturers. The development of a common questionnaire standard for reviewing sustainability aspects a suppliers is also a key focus of the initiative.
The electrification of the product portfolio means that the CO₂ emissions produced by a car are transferred from its use phase to the supply chain. As part of its Audi CO₂ program, Audi and its suppliers have committed themselves to reducing CO₂ along the entire supply chain.
Clean water is one of the most important prerequisites for people and the environment. Our Water Stewardship Program thus aims for a more sustainable use of water resources along our supply chain. In this context, we work with our partners to identify and understand possible risks in conjunction with water consumption, water scarcity and water pollution. In a second step, we search for joint solutions along our supply chain, for instance to reduce environmental effects and make a positive contribution to fulfilling the goal of “access to clean water and sanitation.”
Yet at Audi, efforts to be sustainable in the supply chain are not confined to reducing CO₂ emissions; they also aim to use natural resources sparingly and carefully. Examples include the Aluminium Closed Loop (the use of recycled aluminum), glass recycling (a glass cycle for defective vehicle windows) and chemical recycling (pyrolysis processing for recycling mixed automotive plastic waste). For instance, together Audi and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have researched the chemical recycling of plastics from automobile manufacturing. Plastic waste can be processed into pyrolysis oil, a synthetic fuel that can replace fossil fuels as a raw material for the production of high-quality plastic components in Audi models. These closed material cycles save valuable resources and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Audi is aware of its responsibility to the environment and society, and uses a variety of instruments to actively shape sustainability in the supply chain in the areas of people, environment and innovation. For instance, the Act4Impact program acts as a toolbox in the supply chain, offering various instruments to help create a common understanding. The idea is that partner companies in the supply chain inspire one another through regular exchanges. The aim is continual learning, an exchange of ideas and teamwork in order to inspire change and get started. To this end, Act4Impact bundles all collaborative activities, for instance through training and workshops.
Be real talk real
Internationally recognized guidelines and principles are the foundations and backbone of sustainability management at our company.
Volkswagen Group Policy on Sustainable Raw Materials
2 pages, EN
Volkswagen Code of Conduct for Business Partners
44 pages, EN
Sustainable Development Goals 2016
4 pages, EN
Sustainability Report 2021
139 pages, EN
Human Rights Policy of AUDI AG (German only)
1 page, DE
Global Principles for Social Commitment
8 pages, EN
Audi Sustainability Program
9 pages, EN
Responsible Raw Materials Report 2021
41 pages, EN
The Code of Conduct for business partners
The Code of Conduct for business partners of the Volkswagen Group summarizes the expectations we place on our partners. We take well-founded indications of breaches of these requirements very seriously.
Do you know of any breaches by our business partners of the Code of Conduct or have you been directly impacted by any breaches?
Please contact us at:
Report hints correctly
External points of contact
What’s more, indications of breaches of responsible business conduct within the meaning of the
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises can be reported via the
German Federal Government’s National Contact Point or any other
National Contact Point for these guidelines.
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