Introduction

Dear Reader,

The Volkswagen Group can look back on a successful year. Despite difficult market conditions our Company remained on course, combining quantitative growth with greater quality, as evidenced by the 9.73 million vehicles we delivered to customers around the world – a new record figure. Further proof is provided by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, where our Group was ranked in first place. Through these and many other success stories we have again made good progress towards becoming the world’s best and most sustainable automaker by 2018.

What is it that sets us apart? We focus on providing an unparalleled diversity of powertrains, operating resource-efficient production plants and offering good, secure jobs. Last year we invested more than €10 billion in research and development alone, reflecting the ambitious nature of the goals we are pursuing. Volkswagen is the first automobile manufacturer to commit to reducing the average CO2 emissions of its European new vehicle fleet to 95 g/km by 2020. We have already made substantial progress en route to this goal and last year for the first time brought the figure below 130 g/km. In addition, with the e-up!•, e-Golf •, Audi A3 e-tron• and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid• we further underpinned our claim to technology leadership in the field of electric mobility.

At the same time, in our plants around the world we are striving to make our operations 25% more environmentally compatible and resource-efficient by 2018. These efforts are documented by the seven production plants inaugurated in 2013 in China, Russia and Mexico, all of which comply with the highest environmental standards.

Last but not least, in the past year we created more than 23,000 new jobs. In all, we employ over 570,000 people. The number of young people in vocational training at our facilities around the world rose to 17,700. The Volkswagen Group has already established the proven model of dual vocational education and training at 40 sites in countries including Russia, the USA, India, Brazil and China. And for us, sustainability always includes a social dimension, which is why we set the highest standards for the working conditions and inclusion of our employees.

Why do we do all this? Because as a major automobile manufacturer we take seriously our responsibility for the sustainable development of the economy, the environment and society. Our aim is to create lasting value – for the Company, its employees and its shareholders, but also for the countries and regions in which we operate. This all-embracing view of sustainability is shared by all twelve brands, our companies and all our employees across the Group.

The fact that we unite such a great diversity of cultures, competencies and technical solutions makes us strong. And we are aiming to put these valuable assets to even better use by further intensifying the process of knowledge transfer within the Group. This will enable us to develop the right solutions for the challenges of the future – and make no mistake, those challenges are substantial. Markets are shifting, resources are becoming scarcer, emissions regulations are tightening up all over the world, and booming cities call for new and intelligent traffic and mobility concepts. We consider it part of our responsibility to find the right answers to these trends.

So how do we promote sustainability in concrete terms? This report provides the answer, illustrated by numerous examples from the world of Volkswagen as well as by facts and figures. To make our report transparent, verifiable and comparable, we have taken our lead from the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The report also constitutes our Communication on Pro-gress to the United Nations Global Compact, which we joined with a promise to uphold human rights, promote good working conditions and environmental protection worldwide, and combat corruption. Since 2013 we have extended our engagement by also endorsing the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.

We invite you to familiarize yourself more closely with the diversity an d internationality of the Volkswagen Group and with our contribution to sustainable development and hope you find this report makes inspiring reading.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn Chairman of the Board of Management of
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
Bernd Osterloh Chairman of the General and
Group Works Councils

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn (right) and Bernd Osterloh (left).