Compliance understanding of the Volkswagen Group: Adherence to legal requirements, internal corporate policies, ethical principles, and self-imposed values for the protection of the company and its brands.
In the long term, a company can only be successful if it acts with integrity, complies with statutory provisions worldwide and stands by its voluntary undertakings and ethical principles, even when this is the harder choice. We remain committed to this principle – especially in light of the misconduct uncovered in the 2015 financial year, which runs contrary to all of the values that Volkswagen stands for. Compliance must be second nature to all Group employees.
Volkswagen takes a preventive approach to compliance which heightens employee awareness and knowledge in order to prevent potential rule breaches before they happen. In 2015 and 2016 alone, over 380,000 employees across the Group received training on compliance issues. Group Internal Audit and Group Security complete systematic compliance checks, conduct necessary investigations on a regular basis, perform spot checks in the absence of suspicion, and examine the circumstances in cases of alleged misconduct. Human Resources and Group Legal respond by applying the relevant measures. These processes are closely integrated to form a holistic compliance management system. However, we are aware that even the best compliance management system can never fully exclude the possibility of criminal action by individual employees.
The Volkswagen Group Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct is a common set of guidelines for all employees in the Volkswagen Group. It helps in complying with existing rules and regulations and offers guidance, advice and support in everyday work situations and decision-making. The focus is on the responsibility of each individual employee to comply with the rules of ethical conduct.
Corruption is not a trivial offence. It could damage the company, its business and its employees. Raising awareness and improving understanding therefore plays an important role. The Volkswagen Group offers a number of training courses and support channels for its staff. It has also drawn up its own guidelines covering the issue of anti-corruption.
The aim of these guidelines is to make every employee more aware of corruption and highlight its importance.
Within its whistleblower system, the Volkswagen Group provides points of contact both inside and outside the company for people who would like to report violations of the law or regulations. Further information regarding this can be found here.