"Automotive companies have to face the subject of sustainability."CR expert
"It will be crucial to the success of Audi for it to develop its own position on future issues."Audi employee

Dear Readers,


  • Prof. Rupert Stadler
    Chairman of the Board of Management
  • Luca de Meo
    Marketing and Sales
  • Dr. Frank Dreves
  • Wolfgang Dürheimer
    Technical Development
  • Dr. Bernd Martens
  • Prof. h. c. Thomas Sigi
    Human Resources
  • Axel Strotbek
    Finance and Organization

Futurologists are fond of calling sustainability a "megatrend." Yet we believe that such an important challenge for whole generations should not be dismissed as a passing fad. It is not only about quality of life, but also about safeguarding the very basis of our society through thinking and acting for the long term – and that means it is also fundamental to our business activities as a carmaker. It is in our own interests to ensure that driving a car remains both socially acceptable and a practicable aspect of everyday life. Individual mobility has developed into an indispensable way of clocking our lives. All the more reason for us to make sure it meets the exacting requirements of sustainability.

Through this Corporate Responsibility Report for the 2012 fiscal year, we provide full transparency of the goals and activities of AUDI AG and its subsidiaries with regard to sustainability for the first time. This transparency includes not simply informing you of the progress we have made, but also highlighting the challenges that lie ahead. We and our employees consider we have a responsibility to lead the way not just economically, but also ecologically and socially. That is why we have enshrined the principle "We live responsibility" within our corporate strategy and established sustainable products and processes as a keystone of our operations. We firmly believe that we will only achieve sustainable success through sustainable actions.

Since we regard ourselves as active contributors to society, we want to lay ourselves open to scrutiny. To what extent are we able to reconcile economic, ecological and social concerns even more effectively, year by year? Important performance indicators include the fleet consumption of our cars, their CO2 emissions, and our use of other natural resources.

Since February 2012, AUDI AG has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact and has signed up to its ten principles in the areas of environmental protection, human rights, labor rights and anti-corruption. Over 15 years ago, we moreover became the first premium brand to introduce the European Union’s certified environmental management system EMAS and ever since have been supplying evidence of our advances in the efficient use of resources.

This sustainability report gives account of the progress made in the past year. Each section starts with comments from diverse interest groups on the five core themes that we have put at the top of our list of priorities. We started the ball rolling with a Stakeholder Forum in November 2012, held at our headquarters in Ingolstadt, to which we invited 60 representatives of important social groups.

Our declared goal is to assure a livable future for generations to come. We are convinced that, inspired by our philosophy of "Vorsprung durch Technik," we will find solutions to key issues of how to use resources efficiently and conduct sustainable operations. We have instructed our corporate bodies to examine future products and processes even more rigorously for environmental and social compatibility before giving them the go-ahead.

Thank you for your interest in this publication; we hope you find it enjoyable to read. And please, feel free to join in our dialogue about the shape of tomorrow’s world.

May 2013

The Board of Management of AUDI AG

  • Prof. Rupert Stadler
  • Luca de Meo
  • Dr. Frank Dreves
  • Wolfgang Dürheimer
  • Dr. Bernd Martens
  • Prof. h. c. Thomas Sigi
  • Axel Strotbek

Intro to Strategy section

We live responsibility

Corporate responsibility has long been a part of the Audi self-perception. This is underscored by the wealth and breadth of projects that we have been pursuing throughout the Group in some cases for decades.

In 2011, we anchored sustainability as one of four fields of action in the Strategy 2020 "Audi – the premium brand" under the motto "We live responsibility." The field of action refers to the three pillars of sustainability: ecology, economy and society. Since then the strategy has been further refined and expanded to include, among other things, the corporate goal "Sustainability in products and processes." The desire to make all products and processes sustainable across the entire value chain has consequently become a basic requirement. As a result, we have reviewed all programs and measures, structured and strategically aligned them. The Corporate Responsibility department brackets together all sustainability-related activities throughout the Group.

Core themes of the Audi CR strategy

We have defined five core themes in order to implement the strategic mission of sustainability within the Company:

  • Responsible operations
  • Product responsibility
  • Environmental protection
  • Responsibility to employees
  • Responsibility to society

Our goals for these five core themes and the projects and measures with which we want to achieve them are documented for the first time in this report (cf. CR program). In the future we will provide information annually on our progress and publish our CR Report every two years. Mid-year updates of key figures will take place online. It is our goal to communicate transparently to internal and external stakeholders, including beyond the scope of the CR Report.

Audi wants to extend its lead, with a clear position – also in the area of sustainability.

Guidance for our actions

We take economic, ecological and social aspects into account when making decisions. All our activities are aligned with our internal guidelines and codes, such as the Audi Code of Conduct, the Compliance Directive of the Audi Board of Management and numerous company agreements. In February 2012, AUDI AG joined the United Nations Global Compact. We are committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and of the OECD, the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the UN Convention against Corruption, and act accordingly.

Measuring sustainability

In 2012, the Audi Group took part in the renowned oekom research rating. The Company was awarded the distinction of "Corporate Responsibility Prime Status" in recognition of its above-average contribution to social and environmental compatibility (oekom Industry Report Automobile, Munich, January 2013). The information gleaned from the sustainability rating is channeled into guidelines and activities in order to strengthen our corporate responsibility.

CR program

CR program: our goals and measures

The Audi CR program links our CR measures with the Company's goals. The degree of completion of each measure is indicated at the time of going to press (March 2013).

Goal Measure Date Degree of completion
Improving reporting depth and increasing transparency Improving the GRI Application Level for the CR Report from B+ to A+ 2015 75 %
Expansion of the systematic stakeholder dialogue to the international sites Development of dialogue formats for worldwide use 2014 25 %
Preventing corruption Consulting and training in all company areas Ongoing 50 %
Implementation of key compliance topics in affiliated companies In consultation with the management of the affiliated companies, employees from the respective company are provided with information on the Code of Conduct and anti-corruption. 2014, then ongoing 50 %
Sensitization of employees to the subject of anti-trust law On-site training sessions are conducted in all relevant areas of the Company. Ongoing 50 %
Investments in innovations, new technologies and the expansion of production structures Investments of EUR 11 billion (2013−2015) 2015 New goal
Goal Measure Date Degree of completion
Reduction in CO2 emissions from the Audi new car fleet by 25 % (base year 2008) Reduction in fuel consumption through the use of the modular efficiency platform 2016 75 %
Significant reduction of fuel consumption in every new vehicle as compared with the predecessor model Expansion of the Audi model range as the consumption leader in all vehicle segments 2016 25 %
Addition of natural gas drive concepts to the range Series production of the A3 g-tron with 1.4 TCNG engine for use with natural gas, biomethane and Audi e-gas 2013 50 %
Expansion of the range of electric drive concepts offered under the e-tron umbrella brand Production start of the A3 e-tron as a plug-in hybrid 2013 50 %
Development and production of CO2 -neutral fuels from renewable sources of energy for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions Commissioning of a methanization plant for production of CO2 -neutral e-gas (synthetically produced methane) 2013 50 %
Implementation of an e-gas system solution for customers in Germany through use of existing service station infrastructure 2014 New goal
Conservation of resources through new recycling concepts for closing material cycles Development of a concept for taking back and recycling vehicles with high-voltage batteries 2014 25 %
Development of a recycling concept for carbon-fiber reinforced polymers 2015 25 %
Reduction of environmental impact across the entire life cycle as compared with the predecessor model Preparing product-based environmental assessments for new vehicle models; validation and certification of environmental assessments; publication of the data Ongoing
Goal Measure Date Degree of completion
Reduction of waste for disposal, freshwater consumption, CO2 and VOC emissions as well as overall energy consumption at the production sites by 25 % per reference unit (base year 2010);
within the scope of energy supply, a reduction target of 40 % per reference unit by 2020 (base year 2010) is in effect for the German sites for CO2
Detailed planning and implementation of site-specific packages of measures for attainment of Group-wide reduction targets 2018 25 %
Systematic energy conservation Reduction of total energy consumption in the event of inventory optimizations and replacement investments by 3 % as compared with the prior year through toolmaking measures Ongoing
Reduction of the amount of freshwater needed for production purposes at the Ingolstadt site Realization of water recycling through use of a membrane bioreactor; reduction target for freshwater requirements: 40 % 2015 25 %
Goal Measure Date Degree of completion
Promotion of employee qualification and training Continuation of dual study programs in cooperation with universities Ongoing
Continuation of the Audi employee scholarship Ongoing
Adaptation of training to future technologies Introduction of new training occupations and programs 2015 25 %
Internationalization of vocational training Establishment and expansion of dual vocational training at the Audi sites in Belgium, China, Mexico and Hungary 2016 25 %
Internationalization of HR development Introduction of standards for HR development at the international Audi companies 2015 25 %
Improving compatibility of family and working life Addition of more daycare places; flexible childcare pilot project in Neckarsulm 2013 25 %
Development of measures to support employees in caring for family members 2013 25 %
Promotion of diversity and equality Target quota of 30% women among newly hired academics 2013 50 %
Company-wide coverage with management systems for occupational safety and health protection Further development of an ergonomic evaluation system, in particular in the indirect area 2015 50 %
Realization of a system for the deployment of employees with a reduced capacity to work in line with their specific health requirements 2014 75 %
Prevention program to strengthen mental health 2014 75 %
Continuation of voluntary check-ups for all AUDI AG employees Ongoing
Securing future workforce supply in commercial and technical areas Permanent hiring of all AUDI AG apprentices in principle Ongoing
Expansion of the AUDI AG core workforce 1,500 new appointments 2013 New goal
Goal Measure Date Degree of completion
Expansion of the corporate volunteering program Holding of two volunteer days; at least one pilot project for volunteers at an international location; expansion of the intranet platform for finding volunteers for projects 2013 25 %
Promotion of Ingolstadt as an educational site Continuation of the cooperation between schools and industry: minimum of eight events 2013 75 %

CR organization

Our CR organization

Clearly defined responsibilities and structures are needed for successful implementation of a corporate responsibility strategy. The goal of our CR organization is to involve responsible parties from all divisions in the development of sustainability targets and measures.

The Corporate Responsibility department founded in 2011 is directly subordinate to the Chairman of the Board of Management and brackets together all of the measures in the divisions. It is responsible for the orientation of the sustainability strategy and reports directly to the full Board of Management of AUDI AG. The Corporate Responsibility department is responsible for stakeholder management (cf. Stakeholder management) with the aim of integrating the expectations and opinions of the stakeholders into the CR strategy. It is also responsible for communication regarding sustainability and participation in sustainability ratings. The employees of the Corporate Responsibility department engage in regular dialogue with the international Group companies in order to further develop the joint understanding of sustainability and to coordinate measures. They also participate in the Group CSR and sustainability steering group of Volkswagen AG to synchronize guidelines that are effective for the entire Group. The department is also in charge of the Corporate Responsibility working group.

This is composed of one representative from each of the seven divisions and one representative from the Works Council. The working group meets twice a month and facilitates networking between the divisions in regard to topics of relevance to sustainability. The Audi CR organization reports to the full Board of Management at minimum twice annually.

Stakeholder management

Communicating at eye level

Responsible action requires entering into dialogue with stakeholders and taking their interests seriously. Audi therefore holds regular discussions with all relevant stakeholders.

As part of our sustainability strategy, we have developed a multi-stage process which we use to systematically survey the opinions and recommendations of our stakeholders in regard to all relevant topics. The results of the surveys form the basis for our sustainability work.

In 2012, Audi introduced a stakeholder management system aligned with the AccountAbility 1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000AS). Valid worldwide, these principles-based guidelines are used to assess sustainability and sustainability reporting.

There are three main principles:

  • Inclusivity, i.e. targeted and systematic inclusion of stakeholders
  • Materiality, i.e. joint identification of relevant topics together with the stakeholders
  • Responsiveness, i.e. systematic response to stakeholder issues

In an initial analysis, we identified the stakeholders of relevance to our Company. We focus on stakeholders on which our business activity has a direct or indirect impact.

Our most important stakeholders are:

  • charitable organizations from the spheres of education and culture, society, social affairs, environment and science
  • business partners and investors
  • customers
  • employees
  • representatives from government agencies, unions, politics and associations; neighbors and communities at our sites
  • media representatives and CR experts

Audi implemented a variety of different formats for dialogue with stakeholders in the 2012 reporting year. Standardized questionnaires were used to ensure that the results of these dialogues could be transferred to a materiality matrix. To this end, an initial 125 sustainability topics of relevance to Audi were identified with the help of internal and external sources (sector studies, sustainability ratings, requirements for reporting standards). From that number, 35 overarching topics were then combined or selected, and assessed on a scale from one to five in regard to their relevance for Audi and Audi's performance.

The dialogue formats were:

  • Expert interviews for qualitative and quantitative assessment of key sustainability topics; the one-hour discussions with 17 external experts and 17 Audi representatives from all divisions were conducted by an independent third party.
  • An online survey among 437 representatives of all external stakeholders; a total of 79 persons responded (response rate: 18.1 percent), primarily CR experts, representatives from NGOs and politics as well as business partners.
  • A survey among Audi customers in the markets China, Germany and the United States with a total of 82 participants.

The results of the survey were presented to more than 60 external stakeholders at the first Audi Stakeholder Forum in Ingolstadt. The Audi CR strategy was also presented at the forum for the first time in public. The topics of company environmental protection, social commitment, transparent CR reporting and mobility were discussed together with the participants in four workshops.

Other production sites have also long maintained a regular exchange with stakeholder groups. As part of the "environmental talks" carried out there since 1993, the plant management at the Neckarsulm site supports dialogue with the public by providing information on the environmentally relevant aspects of the plant and engaging in discussion. In addition, "neighborhood talks," in which inhabitants of the nearby residential can speak to Audi representatives and voice their concerns have been held in Neckarsulm for over ten years now. Many of the residents' ideas have been taken up and successfully implemented in the past, for instance in regard to noise protection.

Product-related topics have the highest relevance

The results and conclusions of the stakeholder dialogues are incorporated into our sustainability strategy and form an important basis for future corporate decisions. We have summarized the relevance assessment of key sustainability topics in a materiality matrix that is regularly reviewed and augmented to reflect new findings. For instance, we conducted an employee survey using a standardized questionnaire at the Brussels, Győr, Ingolstadt and Neckarulm sites in early 2013. Approximately 1,500 employees took part.

The current materiality matrix indicates that product-related topics have the highest relevance for Audi. In contrast, several social topics were assessed as less relevant. In the following sections, we have broken down the materiality matrices for the areas of operations, product, environment, employees and society, and highlighted the topics of greatest relevance separately for each section.

Report Audi Stakeholder Forum

Dialogue means
opening up

AUDI AG held its first Audi Stakeholder Forum on November 13, 2012. Representatives from all relevant groups of stakeholders were invited to the Audi Forum Ingolstadt to learn more about the new Audi CR strategy and discuss various focal topics in workshops.

by Dr. Peter F. Tropschuh
Head of Corporate Responsibility, AUDI AG

More than 60 people accepted our invitation to the Audi Stakeholder Forum: representatives from environmental protection associations and global aid organizations, from local educational institutions and universities in cooperative partnerships with Audi, from automotive industry associations, from competitors and internationally operating companies. They all wanted to know one thing above all: How does Audi define responsibility and how is Audi planning to implement this as part of its core business? No one is interested in window dressing. Our approach therefore is to stand up to critical voices by being open, asking questions and listening.

»Until now, I have not seen Audi engage
in much interaction with its stakeholders.«
Business representative

And it was exactly this dialogue that we sought initially through the Stakeholder Forum, in order to talk about the following overarching issue: What is our responsibility as a company and as part of society? After all, we regard respectful and critical exchange with our stakeholders as an important element of our corporate responsibility (CR). Since 2011, Audi has been concentrating its multi-faceted CR measures under the strategic umbrella "We live responsibility." In this initial phase in particular, we are hoping for external ideas that we can consider in further structuring our CR strategy and planning new activities.

Corporate responsibility is anchored in the Audi Strategy 2020 – and is consequently a subject that the full Board of Management considers important. This was underlined by the fact that Board Member Thomas Sigi participated in the Stakeholder Forum, where he gave a welcoming speech and stressed that the Board of Management sees CR as a pillar of Audi’s future success.

As well as presenting our strategy and successful CR measures, we wanted to create sufficient scope for dialogue. After all, our participants expect an honest exchange, and we take this seriously. We must, and we want to, show our hand. Four parallel workshops therefore provided a framework for open dialogue between Audi representatives and participants.

»I see Audi's involvement of its stakeholders
as a positive and constructive sign.«
Union representative

We chose the four workshop topics prior to the forum based on the results of the stakeholder survey, which we conducted in the first half of 2012. The main topic for all of those surveyed was the radical change in mobility. One of the workshops therefore addressed the possibilities and limitations of sustainable drive technologies and fuels. What is Audi’s responsibility here? In addition to our cars, production is an important instrument by means of which we can assume responsibility – and this is also the point of view of those surveyed. A second workshop was therefore devoted to environmental protection at our sites. How can we produce clean cars cleanly?

The stakeholder survey confirmed for us that Audi is a good employer. But there is need for discussion here as well – such as about the extent to which an employer is allowed to and should intervene in its employees’ private lives on matters of health protection or voluntary work. The third workshop therefore focused on the possibilities and limitations of social commitment in the relationship between employer and employee. Our greatest deficits were identified in the field of CR communication. In the fourth workshop we therefore discussed expectations regarding communication content and paths.

»A very well organized event,
with valuable content.«
Academic representative

»Dialogue with stakeholders will become
even more important in the future as
demands for transparency increase.«
Educational institution representative

To conclude the Stakeholder Forum, the moderators of the small groups presented the results of the workshops. It became clear that Audi’s major CR task will be to solve dilemmas and carefully weigh up various interests against each other. There are some simple answers – such as this CR Report as a means of improving stakeholder communication. But they are few and far between. Not all dilemmas can be so easily solved. This makes it all the more important to engage in systematic exchange with our stakeholders in the future. We have set the standard for ourselves with the first Audi Stakeholder Forum: We have to join together to search for solutions.

The contents of the presentations, workshops and discussion sessions are recorded in the following diagram.