2. Investor Relations
  3. Corporate Governance
  4. ESG Controversies

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Volkswagen AG is in full transformation mode, pushing forward on our “Together 2025+” strategy with full force.  

Parallel to the transformation of our industry we are seeing the rising importance of ESG in investment decisions, which no one will argue has become mainstream and will continue to grow at a rapid pace.

The importance of ESG is also growing continuously within our organization and is fully embedded in our decision making processes. We believe we have made significant progress amongst others in the areas stated below.

Nevertheless we are fully aware that much more needs to be done.

We have learned that the area of controversies is a reoccurring concern.

This website addresses relevant current and ongoing controversies in a factual manner with the aim of increasing transparency for you our stakeholders.

We invite you to browse this content, welcome any feedback from your side, also on suggestions
of  further topics that require clarity, and we look forward to our increased dialogue.

Please feel free to send a mail to  (investor.relations@volkswagen.de) or contact

             alexander.hunger@volkswagen.de, +49 5361 947 420  or

             ulrich.hauswaldt@volkswagen.de, +49 5361 942224

who are responsible for ESG within the IR Team.

End of Independent Compliance Monitorship

Volkswagen AG successfully completed the Independent Compliance Monitorship under Agreements with U.S. Authorities.

During the Monitorship, Volkswagen implemented nearly 300 new or revised internal regulations and policies in the relevant legal entities to accelerate the rollout of new processes. These include:

  • Establishing a Group Compliance Committee, HR Steering Committee within the Group and new role for Environment, Health & Safety at Volkswagen Group of America
  • Launching Together4Integrity, a global framework to oversee Volkswagen’s integrity and compliance program as well as its cultural change activities;
  • The introduction of a group-wide uniform Code of Conduct for all 12 brands and all other companies;
  • Expanding the whistle-blower system by investing in processes, staffing and in IT infrastructure;
  • Publishing an employee survey conducted by the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI)

Link to the Website:

Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) https://www.ethics.org/

Human Rights

At Volkswagen Group, human rights, tolerance and respect for one another are the yardstick for our cooperation. This is what we stand for – developed to reflect the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights - also in China.

The respect of human rights is embedded in our Volkswagen Group-wide binding Code of Conduct.

We represent and live our standards and values in China and ensure that our work with all Volkswagen Groups factories, distribution companies and suppliers is based on our principles: for example, respect for minorities, employee representation, social and labor standards.

Volkswagen and its joint ventures strictly oppose any form of forced labor in our operations anywhere in the world, including China.

We have no evidence that forced labor is being used in our direct supply chain or at any of our production plants. At our plant in Urumqi, all employees have a direct labor contract with SAIC Volkswagen with equal pay for equal jobs.

Our joint ventures have an own Code of Conduct, a whistleblower and an external ombudsmen system to prevent or detect possible wrong doings or violations.

Volkswagen has built a long history with China and will remain firmly committed to its presence in China.

Link to the Website:

Supply Chain / Sustainable Procurement, Code of Conduct

Volkswagen is convinced that a sustainable supplier network guarantees long term business success. All suppliers must accept the code of conduct which has been published under  www.vwgroupsupply.com. The code of conduct  defines legally compliant, sustainable and responsible business behavior under environmental, social and ethical aspects. Compliance with the code of conduct is evaluated by us for every relevant supplier on the basis of self-assessment questionnaires as well as possible local on site inspections. The sustainability index is directly relevant for the contract award: when a supplier does not meet our requirement for sustainability compliance standards, they are not entitled to a contract award. Therefore, there is a direct incentive for all suppliers to improve their sustainability performance.  

Supply Chain / Lithium – Cobalt

As a one of the forerunners of e-mobility, the Volkswagen Group is ensuring intends to ensure greater transparency and responsibility in its raw material supply chains for batteries. To that end, the company has entered a strategic partnership with RCS Global, an agency specializing in supply chain analysis. The focus is on auditing suppliers for conformance with human rights, safe working conditions and environmental protection along the supply chain all the way back to the mines.

The Group introduced a sustainability rating for direct suppliers and a comprehensive system developed by RCS Global also tracks adherence to sustainability criteria at sub-suppliers, refineries, smelters, mines and recyclers. New guidelines for improvements issued to suppliers make an active contribution to achieving improvements when risks and shortcomings are identified. Serious audit violations may even lead to the disqualification of suppliers from the supply chain. That applies, for example, to small-scale mining operators when child labor cannot be ruled out. The approach builds on the Due Diligence Guidelines of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Link to the website:




Wichtiger Hinweis

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