Measure. Manage. Improve.

Transparency with regard to environmental and social performance and sustainable governance is fundamental to any form of management, and society expects as much from companies. With its Strategy 2018 the Volkswagen Group is pursuing clear goals. Ongoing measurement and evaluation is critical to achieving these goals.

Our Approach

The principles of sustainability management in the Volkswagen Group are described in the Strategy chapter of this report, along with our goals and actions in pursuit of continuous improvement. Further details on the goals and actions can be found at the end of this chapter. In recent years we have focused on establishing uniform standards and procedures at all Group brands. This process is not quite complete. An overview of the principles, agreements and procedures that apply across the Group is provided by the table. These lay the foundations for a common Group-wide understanding of sustainability and for measuring, managing and improving our sustainability performance.

Management by Key Indicators

In order to manage its sustainability performance, the Volkswagen Group records 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). We know that our shareholders and investors are increasingly also asking about our ESG performance, which is why we are providing the following overview of our economic, environmental and social performance in quantitative terms.

Measurement of Scope 3 emissions in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol continued.

Changes to Methodology and Measurement Methods

The indicators presented are a continuation of those from previous years. There have been no changes in reporting and measurement methods. The Group has, however, grown by a further six production facilities over the past year and consequently seen the workforce grow by over 20,000 employees. We state which units each of the individual indicators relates to and will in the coming years endeavor to include all sites and companies. As for measurement methods, our last report was the first time emissions had been reported according to Scope 3 of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol, something we have continued in this report. This puts us ahead of the field in our sector.

Frame of Reference

The indicators invariably relate to the entire Group and include companies in which our equity interest exceeds 50%. For our joint ventures in China, we report HR (social) indicators “at equity”, in other words 50%, but include 100% of the environmentally relevant data. However, due to differing definitions or recording methods, it is not yet possible in all areas to consolidate data reported by the brands and regions, which means that there are still numerous exceptions. We point these exceptions out and indicate precisely which units the data relate to. In the coming years, we will endeavor to provide uniform data collection for all sites and companies.

Stakeholder Engagement Standard AA1000 targets the systematic consideration of stakeholder interests.

Auditing and Standards

The Volkswagen Group Sustainability Report 2013 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (PwC) taking account of the Stakeholder Engagement Standard AccountAbility 1000 (AA1000AS) 2008 and with complementary consideration of the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. In the course of their assurance engagement, PwC carried out the following activities: interviews with management; interviews with employees responsible for reporting sustainability information; recording the processes used to acquire, calculate and report sustainability information. The quantitative data for the 2013 reporting year that were audited by PwC are marked in the Indicators chapter with the following symbol: 

Further information can be found in the Independent Assurance Report.

Further Reporting within the Group

More detailed insight into our environmental management is provided by the Environmental Statements which numerous sites compile as part of their voluntary participation in the European EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) system.
The sustainability reports of the Audi, MAN, Scania and ŠKODA brands are also indicative of the Group’s commitment to sustainability. This year Porsche will also issue a sustainability report in line with GRI standards.

Sustainability in the Volkswagen Group: Principles, standards and procedures

  Introduced   Coverage 2013  
Sustainability in general
Model of Sustainability 2002 Group
Volkswagen Group requirements regarding sustainability in its
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
Declaration on Social Rights and Industrial Relations
at Volkswagen (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