|Volkswagen response to concerns about allegations that Volkswagen and other car manufacturers do not observe human rights in sourcing metals
31 Mar 2010
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Volkswagen to respond to the following report:
- “Automakers not driven by responsibility,” SOMO, 24 Feb 2010:
Volkswagen sent the following statement to the Resource Centre:
The topic of sustainability in supplier relationships is firmly embedded in the processes of the Volkswagen Group. Procurement’s goal is to integrate the values of environmental protection and the perception of social responsibility as defined in the corporate policy into supplier relationship. The concept of sustainability in supplier relationships comprises four main pillars: sustainability standards for suppliers, an early-warning system to minimize risk, transparency in the procurement process, and finally supply monitoring and development.
All procurement staff have been briefed on these topics and sensitized to shortcomings as well as potential for improvement at suppliers. By doing this, we have crated the basis for sustainable development and continuous enhancement of procurement processes in the Company as a result. Time and again, our responsibility as a partner along the value chain presents us with new challenges such as deciding on the direction of investments, the use of resources or the promotion of product- and process-based innovations.
Since 2008, we have implemented the concept in all brands and in all regions in which the Group is active. Prior to this, a pilot project at VW Group China, in which the topic of supplier training was also an important element, was successfully completed. Using the experience gained in this project, we set up a global network for sustainability in the procurement organization and developed action plans for the future. Another supplier training project was implemented in India in 2009. Intensive networking and regular interaction between all brands and regions are essential if we are to integrate all our business partners throughout the Group into the concept.
Moreover, through its involvement in the “The European Alliances for CSR” initiative, Volkswagen is actively championing more intensive integration of the sustainability topic at a European and cross-industry level.