Corporate Governance

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Corporate practices applied in addition to statutory requirements

Code of Conduct and Volkswagen Group Essentials

The Volkswagen Group’s Code of Conduct is the key instrument for reinforcing employees’ awareness of responsible action and decision making. The Group’s underlying values and the foundation for its shared corporate culture are defined by the seven Volkswagen Group Essentials: responsibility, honesty, bravery, diversity, pride, solidarity and reliability.

Compliance and risk management

For the Volkswagen Group’s lasting success, we use forward-looking risk management and a uniform Group-wide framework based on the compliance management system. This includes:

  • Compliance. Adherence to statutory provisions, internal company policies, ethical principles and our own values in order to protect the Company and its brands.
  • Whistleblower system. The Volkswagen whistleblower system is the central point of contact for reporting potential cases of serious rule-breaking in the Volkswagen Group. It focuses on investigating serious infringements that could cause major damage to the Company’s reputation or financial interests or that involve major breaches of the Volkswagen Group’s ethical principles.
  • Business and human rights. Volkswagen fully recognizes its corporate responsibility for human rights. We essentially orient ourselves on the UN (United Nations) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that are available on the website of the UN (United Nations Global Compact), the content of which particularly relates to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core conventions of the ILO (International Labor Organization) that can be accessed on the website of the ILO.
  • Anti-Corruption. The Volkswagen Group has a zero-tolerance policy on active or passive corruption. This is anchored in both the Group’s internal Code of Conduct and its Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
  • Risk management and internal control system. A comprehensive risk management and internal control system (RMS/ICS) helps the Volkswagen Group deal with risks in a responsible manner. The organizational design of the Volkswagen Group’s RMS/ICS is based on the internationally recognized COSO framework for enterprise risk management (COSO: Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) and can be accessed on the COSO website. Uniform Group principles are used as the basis for managing risks in a transparent and appropriate manner.

Voluntary commitments and principles

The Volkswagen Group has committed itself to sustainable, transparent and responsible corporate governance.

We coordinate our sustainability activities across the entire Group and have put in place a forward-looking system of risk management and a clear framework for dealing with environmental issues in a future-oriented manner, for employee responsibility and for social commitment across our brands and in the regions in which we operate.

Voluntary commitments and principles that apply across the Group are the basis and backbone of our sustainability management. These documents are publicly accessible on the Volkswagen Group’s website in the section entitled “Sustainability.”

Code of Collaboration and Together4Integrity

The Code of Collaboration, along with our integrity and compliance program Together4Integrity (T4I), is a central pillar of the NEW AUTO Group strategy. This Code describes how collaboration is to take place within the Group and between individuals in their day-to-day work. Its core values are encapsulated in the terms “genuine”, “straightforward”, “open-minded”, “as equals” and “united”. T4I brings together all activities relating to integrity, culture, compliance, risk management and human resources, creating a common path toward a new corporate culture.