Sustainable through an through

The principles of sustainability management in the Volkswagen Group are described in detail in the Strategy chapter, as are our continuous improvement goals. Our goals and actions, together with planned activities and current status, are presented in greater detail at the end of this chapter. The table Sustainability in the Volkswagen Group: Principles, Standards and Procedures provides an overview of the Group-wide principles, agreements and methods that form the basis for our shared understanding of sustainability across the Group, allowing performance to be measured, controlled and improved.

Management by Key Indicators

In order to manage its sustainability performance, the Volkswagen Group collects central performance indicators in line with the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) indicator framework of the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS). Increasingly, shareholders and investors demand transparency, and this makes them an important target group for our sustainability reporting. In recognition of this, we provide an overview of our economic, environmental and social performance in the following chapters on Financial Indicators, Environmental Indicators and Personnel Indicators. The overview is as comprehensive as possible and stated in quantitative terms.

The key indicators we present are a continuation of those from previous years. There have been no changes in the methods used to report and measure our sustainability performance. The Volkswagen Group’s global production network comprised 119 production locations at the end of the reporting year. The counting method on which this figure is based has been revised and standardized since the previous year; the increase is largely accounted for by the Commercial Vehicles sector. This is now the fourth time we have reported our emissions in line with Scope 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), which makes us one of the trailblazers in our industry.

Frame of ReferenceG4-17, G4-22, G4-23

In general, the indicators relate to the entire Group, including any companies in which our equity interest exceeds 50%. For our joint ventures in China, we report social indicators “at equity”, in other words at 50%, but including 100% of environmentally relevant data. However, due to differing definitions or collection methods, it is not yet possible to consolidate the data reported by the brands and regions in all areas, which means that there are still numerous exceptions. In this report indicators which are only relate to parts of the Group are marked with footnotes and explaining which parts. Over the coming years, we will continue to endeavor to make data collection uniform across all locations and companies.

Auditing and Standards

The Volkswagen Group Sustainability Report 2015 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (PwC) against the relevant requirements and criteria laid down in the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, taking supplementary account of the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised). The audit activities carried out by PwC include: management surveys, surveys of employees responsible for reporting sustainability information, and recording of the processes used to collect, calculate and report sustainability information. In the following Indicators chapters, the quantitative details of the 2015 reporting period audited by PwC are marked with the symbol Further information about the audit can be found in the Independent Assurance Report.

Additional Reporting within the Group

More detailed insights into our environmental management approach are provided by the Environmental Statements which numerous locations compile as part of their voluntary participation in the European EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) system. The sustainability reports of the Audi, MAN, Porsche, Scania and ŠKODA brands are also indicative of the Group’s commitment to sustainability.

Sustainability in the Volkswagen Group: Principles, Standards and Procedures

Program Introduced Coverage 2015
Sustainability in General
Group Sustainability Model 2002 2002 Group
Volkswagen Group requirements regarding sustainability in relationships with business partners 2006 Group
Commitment to United Nations Global Compact 2002 Group
Code of Conduct 2010 Group
Anti-Corruption Guide 2012 Group
Charter on Labour Relations 2009 Group
Charter on Temporary Work 2012 Group
Charter on Vocational Education and Training 2015 Group
Declaration on Social Rights and Industrial Relations (Social Charter) 2002, updated 2012 Group
Occupational Safety Policy 2004 Group
“Stimmungsbarometer” (Employee Opinion Survey) 2008 Group
Environmental Policy 1995 Group
Environmental Principles Product 2008 Group
Environmental Principles Production 2007 Group
Mission Statement on Biodiversity 2008 Group
CEO Water Mandate 2013 Group