Responsibility knows no boundaries

Acting with Responsibility

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn and Bernd Osterloh discuss the contribution made by Volkswagen Group to sustainable development.

In October 2012 Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn and Bernd Osterloh signed the following Introduction to a presentation about Corporate Social Responsibility. This presentation of roughly 70 pages (print) or 37 pages (pdf) is available here.

„The Volkswagen Group operates more than 90 pro­ duction facilities in 18 European countries and eight countries in America, Asia, Africa and Australia. More than half a million people now contribute to the Group’s success. Can any other business enter­ prise make similar claim to having globality and di­ versity as its own attributes?
As the Group grows, so does its responsibility – to offer good and safe places of work; to ensure train­ ing and opportunities for the next generation; for education, science and culture; for a society in which every single person can develop their talents and above all: for an intact environment.
As an enterprise driven by value, Volkswagen has al­ ways sought to achieve a balance with its stakeholders. The granting of equal status to the aspects of revenue and employment is one of the unwritten principles of our corporate constitution. And will remain so.
Acting responsibly has always been part of our cor­ porate culture. We understand social responsibility as being the ability to harmonise our business activi­ ties with the long­term goals of (a global) society. Any­ one wishing to check whether and to what extent we achieve this should first look at our products, then see how we procure and produce, and thirdly at the efforts with which we, as upstanding corporate citizens, seek to promote and further develop cooperative struc­ tures with and within our social environment.
This is why Volkswagen does not choose its partner­ ships and projects indiscriminately, but rather ac­ cording to whether they match our mobility activi­ ties or are situated close to a site and are beneficial to people ­ both inside our factories and beyond the factory gates.
This brochure is intended to illustrate that CSR is practised far beyond our home market of Germa­ ny ­ in all markets and regions within the world of Volkswagen in a fashion adjusted to meet and re­ flect local needs and resources. Find out more about our road traffic education project “The Seventh Sense” in China, about the voluntary social engagement of our workforce in Pacheco/Argentina and the sports and educational activities in South Africa and Brazil under the motto “A chance to play”. Take the time to read about the green factories recently constructed in Pune/India and in Chattanooga/Tennessee in the USA. Learn more about the Green Fleet programme organised jointly by Volkswagen Leasing and German nature conservation federation NABU, as well as details of the fantastic planting project in Popocatepetl, close to our Puebla plant in Mexico.
The list of outstanding projects and initiatives is long. It demonstrates that at Volkswagen, CSR is more than a reaction to external pressures and ex­ pectations, but instead has long been an in­house initiative that has evolved into a force in its own right for better competitiveness as well as technical and socio­ecological innovation. It is definitely no coincidence that Volkswagen is achieving business success at a time in which the principle of responsi­ bility towards both people and the environment has gained validity in business enterprises across the globe – find out for yourself!“

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