Together with its suppliers, German carmaker Audi is systematically committing itself for more sustainability. To this end, the company has developed a sustainability rating with the aim of protecting the environment and safeguarding social standards.
Since April 2017, Audi has audited more than 600 partners at their production sites. At present, there is a particular focus on those suppliers that have been commissioned to supply components for the Audi e-tron. Starting in the second half of 2019, the sustainability rating will be a decisive factor in awarding contracts to suppliers.
The rating makes sustainability just as important a selection criterion as costs, quality, technological expertise and innovativeness. “This shows how much importance we place on a sustainable supply chain at Audi,” stated Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Audi Board of Management responsible for Procurement and IT. “We are convinced that corporate responsibility is a decisive success factor and we only want to work with partners who think and act in the same way.”
For the rating, Audi says it considers far more than certificates and self-disclosure. The company also makes its own assessment at suppliers’ premises. Audi checks a total of 12 sustainability criteria from the environmental and social sectors – for example, whether the supplier produces in a resource-conserving manner and complies with occupational safety standards. “We do not rely on random checks. We deliberately take the time to determine a sustainability rating for each individual supplier,” said Martens.
The current focus is on suppliers of components for the Audi e-tron, which has its world premiere in September. With the brand's first all-electric series-produced car, the company is also paying special attention to sustainable value added. If a partner does not meet the sustainability requirements, it must make improvements within a certain period of time. In this way, Audi supports its suppliers in making the processes at their locations more sustainable.
Audi has already rated a total of more than 600 suppliers of components for various Audi models and a further 400 are to be added by the end of the year. Starting in 2019, the entire Volkswagen Group will use these on-site checks to determine sustainability ratings for suppliers, with a direct impact on the awarding of contracts.