The success of the Volkswagen brand is underpinned by honesty and integrity on the part of all of our employees. By acting in accordance with national and international laws and regulations, internal policies, guidelines and voluntary commitments, we always repay the considerable trust shown in the Volkswagen brand by our customers, business partners and stakeholders on a daily basis. An ethos of integrity, irreproachable conduct and fair dealings with each other are not merely something we take for granted – these values are deeply rooted in our brand identity. Upholding and further strengthening our system of values is one of the main duties of our company.
We drive and accelerate our business by living and breathing the Volkswagen Group Principles - which defines our value based behaviours.
For the Volkswagen Group, compliance is 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 and compliance must be second nature to all Volkswagen Group employees.
The section further explores the following compliance topics:
The Volkswagen Group’s Code of Conduct is the key instrument for strengthening employee awareness of correct behavior, providing support and guidance, and finding the right contact persons for consultation and advice. The focus is on the responsibility of each individual employee to comply with the rules of ethical conduct.
The Code of Conduct for Business Partners embeds our expectations of our business partners’ conduct with respect to key environmental, social and compliance standards in our contractual agreements. The requirements are based, among other things, on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the relevant International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. The Code of Conduct is, however, not just based on international standards, but also objectives, rules and policies of the Volkswagen Group.
We place great importance on fostering a culture that encourages our employees and others that partner with the Volkswagen Group to speak up about serious regulatory violations.
Our dedicated Whistleblower Hotline is available to any individual who is, or has been a director, employee, secondee, contractor, consultant, supplier, service provider (or their employee or subcontractor), franchisee (or its authorised representative or their employee), or working with, the Volkswagen Group. Relatives or dependents of these individuals (or of their spouse) are also eligible to raise concerns through our formal channels. We encourage certain third parties, such as suppliers or service providers, to report concerns they may see in their interactions with the Volkswagen Group and, similarly, encourage reporting the conduct of these third parties.
To ensure that anything you disclose can be handled, it is important to provide information that is as factual as possible. When you report, consider the answers to these five basic questions: Who? What? When? Why? Where?
Employees can have a conversation with a senior manager or the Compliance Officer. Alternatively, contact the Volkswagen Group Whistleblower System if individuals are uncomfortable or not able to go through internal channels, would like to report anonymously, or make a report under the Group Whistleblower Policy.