Firmly anchored responsibility
What structures are required for value-oriented, sustainable management? How can impending conflicts be recognized early on to ensure a prompt response and to secure future viability? Sustainability management that is firmly anchored at the level of the Supervisory Board and Board of Management, along with compliance and integrity, help Audi systematically implement its “consistently sustainable” strategy.
Audi is part of society and as such, assumes responsibility for the environment, its own employees and for people outside its factory perimeters. Sustainability is important for Audi and is firmly integrated within the company. The Sustainability Strategy department consolidates measures across the divisions and is responsible for the direction of the sustainability strategy. It reports to the Sustainability Board – the full Board of Management of AUDI AG – at least twice a year. At the meetings of the Sustainability Board, the Sustainability Strategy department reports on current measures and potential target conflicts with regard to the economy, ecology and society.
For Audi, there is a direct correlation between economic success and entrepreneurial responsibility. As part of the risk management process, the Sustainability Strategy department presents material risks on a quarterly basis to the Board of Management, where they are then discussed. The department is also in charge of the Sustainability Steering Committee, which is composed of representatives of all divisions plus one representative from the Works Council. The Sustainability Steering Committee aims to ensure cross-divisional management of the sustainability strategic field of action. The resolutions adopted by the Sustainability Steering Committee form the basis for decision proposals for the Audi Board of Management as well as for product-related decision-making committees containing members of the Board of Management.
Executive bodies of AUDI AG
The Annual General Meeting, the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management make up the executive bodies of AUDI AG. The Annual General Meeting of a stock corporation is the meeting of the corporation’s shareholders or owners at which they exercise their rights with regard to the stock corporation’s affairs.
The Board of Management manages the business of AUDI AG and of the Audi Group in accordance with the law, the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of AUDI AG and the rules of procedure issued by the Supervisory Board. Corporate governance also gives due consideration to the corporate goals and to shared interests within the Volkswagen Group. At the time the Audi Sustainability Report 2019 was completed, the AUDI AG Board of Management consisted of seven members.
The Supervisory Board oversees and advises the Board of Management’s running of the business. The Supervisory Board of AUDI AG comprises ten shareholder representatives and ten employee representatives as provided for by law. The composition of the Supervisory Board and Board of Management of AUDI AG as well as the dates on which members took up office are provided on the website of AUDI AG.
Guiding principles of action
In February 2012, AUDI AG joined the United Nations Global Compact as an independent company. The company has signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles of the International Labour Organization and of the OECD, the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the UN Convention against Corruption. The company, as a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, suspended its membership in the UN Global Compact effective November 12, 2015, in light of the diesel crisis. Irrespective of the suspension of its membership, Audi AG emphasizes its commitment to the principles of the UN Global Compact.
At Audi, the Volkswagen Group Essentials, the Audi leadership principles and the Audi corporate values of appreciation, openness, responsibility and integrity all constitute the fundamental values and foundation of our corporate culture. The guiding behavioral principles for the Audi Group’s employees are described in the Code of Conduct. In 2019, the Code of Conduct [SS1] was fully revised and supports employees in their daily duties in the company. It provides guidance, advice and support on correct behavior at the workplace, as a business partner and as a member of the company. The Code of Conduct is binding for every employee, regardless of his or her position in the hierarchy.
The Code of Conduct provides clear rules on correct conduct in a transparent and easily understood form and is constantly made accessible to all employees. The emphasis is on dialogue and exchange. Practical examples illustrate the individual subject areas and help employees apply the rules.